OBETZ, Ohio – Columbus Crew Head Coach and Sporting Director Gregg Berhalter confirmed Friday that he finds free agent and former Sporting Kansas City forward Kei Kamara to be an “interesting” potential target.
Karama mutually agreed to part ways with English club Middlesbrough on Thursday and is reported to be interested in a potential move back to MLS. The Crew currently hold the top MLS allocation spot, and Berhalter said that from his understanding, Kamara would come through allocation because Kansas City received a transfer fee for him, which was confirmed to MLSsoccer.com by a league spokesperson.
Still, at this point the Crew have no formal move planned.
“I think he’s a very good player,” Berhalter told MLSsoccer.com after Crew training. “He’s proven to be an excellent player in this league, so he’s definitely someone who’s interesting.
“Like any standout player in the league who wants to come back, we would take a look at him, so I think he is someone who’s interesting. It’s interesting to look at him and see his situation.”
Berhalter said he hasn’t “focused on [Kamara] too much,” and that what he knows about him comes largely from what he saw of Kamara in MLS. But even without formal scouting, Berhalter likes what he’s seen.
“[Kamara] started out playing forward in Kansas City and moved to a wide position and he’s done a fantastic job there,” Berhalter said. “He’s a very dynamic player, vertical player, very good on crosses, he’s quality.”
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Since missing out on Mix Diskerud during the summer transfer window, Berhalter and the Crew have been looking for creative ways to avoid wasting the top spot before the roster-freeze deadline on Sept. 15. The club is exploring a number of different scenarios, but Berhalter would not specify as to what they were.
“There are a lot of things you can do,” he said. “You can leverage the spot, you can get a player immediately or you can get a player later in the year or for next year with that spot. ... From my understanding, there are a number of different ways to use the spot, and we’re in the process of defining them all and exploring them all.”