The Kei Kamara saga in Columbus has come to a close.
The New England Revolution and Columbus Crew SC announced on Thursday morning that the teams completed a deal before the primary transfer window deadline to send the Designated Player forward to New England in exchange for General Allocation Money, Targeted Allocation Money, New England's highest 1st Round MLS SuperDraft pick in 2017, New England's highest 2nd Round MLS SuperDraft pick in 2018 and one of New England's international roster spots for the 2016 season.
The move comes after Kamara was suspended by Crew SC on Tuesday for making public remarks critical of teammate Federico Higuain. The two had been involved in a heated argument over who would take a penalty kick in last Saturday's 4-4 draw against the Montreal.
“Kei had a memorable 2015 season and we recognize and understand how popular and productive he was, so this decision was not one we made lightly,” said Crew SC sporting director and head coach Gregg Berhalter in a statement provided by the team. “Our actions will always reflect the values of our club and we believe this transaction will improve our competitiveness this year and in future years.”
Kamara finished tied atop the league's scoring charts with 22 goals in 2015 and was named to his first MLS Best XI as Crew SC reached the MLS Cup title game. He heads to New England with 79 goals and 31 assists across 234 regular-season MLS appearances.
“We have been looking to strengthen our team and we feel that this addition accomplishes just that,” said Revolution General Manger Michael Burns in a statement. “Kei is a player who has had success and is a proven goal scorer in MLS. We’re pleased we were able to get this deal done and look forward to Kei’s arrival and integration into the team.”
Kamara was originally drafted by Columbus with the ninth overall pick in the 1st Round of the 2006 MLS SuperDraft and went on to play for the San Jose Earthquakes (2008), Houston Dynamo (2008-09) and Kansas City Wizards/Sporting Kansas City (2009-13) in addition to England's Norwich City (2013) and Middlesbrough (2013-14) over his 11-year professional career.
The Crew face the Revs at Gillette Stadium on July 9 and August 20 and then Kamara will make his return to MAPFRE Stadium in a Revs jersey in a nationally televised match on Sept. 25 (7 pm ET, FS1).