Kei Kamara lays down marker on arrival in New England: "I'm ready to play"

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – On Tuesday, in reaction to a swell of trade rumors on the internet, Kei Kamara posted a tweet urging the Columbus Crew SC faithful to “stay calm.”

Two days later, as the trade deadline approached, that tone completely changed as Columbus surprised both player and fan bases alike by shipping one of the league’s most deft finishers to the New England Revolution for a package full of allocation money and draft picks.

“I told everybody to stay calm, then I told everybody to panic,” Kamara said with a slight chuckle when he met with the media for the first time as a member of the Revolution on Friday. “To me, it wasn’t something that I thought was going to happen, I thought it was just one of those [things] at deadline day.”

The situation for Kamara in Columbus, where he scored 27 goals in 41 games over the last year and a half, came to a head this past weekend following an incident between the Sierra Leone native and teammate Federico Higuain over a penalty kick.

After expressing his frustrations following the incident, the rumor mill kicked into high gear. But despite what was being said, Kamara was again surprised to find that this incident was not the death knell for his time with the Crew, but that the Revs may have been in pursuit for quite some time.

“I don’t know, I can’t really say what lead to the trade,” said Kamara. “Obviously, the situation that I thought is what led to the trade, it was clear to me that they said, 'We didn’t trade you because of the incident that happened over the weekend.'

“For me, I can’t debate and stop anything from happening. It’s all about moving forward. When I spoke with [Jay Heaps] and he told me he’s wanted me since my Kansas City days, that put a smile on my face … [He] said that this wasn't something that just happened this week. It’s something that’s been in the works for a long time.”

Now Kamara is out to prove that this trade will not slow his mission: to help his club win MLS Cup.

He joins a crowded New England attack that has struggled at times to finish, a factor in the Revs' 1-3-7 start to the season

Kamara says he's ready to inject his enthusiasm into the group and push them back above the red line in the Eastern Conference standings – despite one minor flaw he encountered on being introduced to his new team.

“I’m just happy to be here,” said the 31-year-old. “It just kind of sucks that I feel like the old guy around these guys. Because they’re all young boys, they’re willing to play and I’m happy to be around them.

“I’m not coming across here to sit on my butt and relax, saying that because this happened my season is done. I’m ready to play.”