LA Galaxy get Kamara from Columbus Crew SC for Zardes, up to $500K TAM

TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Trade

The questions over Ola Kamara's future have ended in the form of one of the biggest trades of the MLS offseason.

Columbus Crew SC and the LA Galaxy made official on Saturday a deal that will send Kamara to the Galaxy in exchange for Gyasi Zardes and at least $400,000 of Targeted Allocation Money.

The dea includes an additional $100,000 in payments to Columbus if the Norwegian international scores at least 12 league goals in 2018.

“We are very excited to bring Ola to Los Angeles,” Galaxy coach Sigi Schmid said in a statement. “He has been one of the league’s most productive forwards during his two seasons in MLS and we believe he will be a great fit in our attack. We look forward to him joining our squad.”

Kamara has hit the net 34 times over 59 league appearances in two seasons in Columbus as Crew SC reached the Eastern Conference final. But a report from mlssoccer.com's Sam Stejskal in early January indicated he has been eager to leave the club. He had previously been linked with a move to the Colorado Rapids and also potentially a mid-table side in La Liga.

Zardes, meanwhile, may be getting a much-needed fresh start after a dismal 2017 campaign with only two goals and two assists in 24 league appearances. At one point, Zardes' offensive struggles led to Schmid experimentally slotting him in at right back.

That left the Galaxy reportedly open to moving the 26-year-old California native this winter as they look to rebound from their stunning last-place finish in the Western Conference in 2017.

But the Crew could have a found a bargain if Zardes can regain his peak form. Just three years prior to last season's misery, Zardes hit 16 league goals in the 2014 league campaign, a tally that lifted him into regular action with the US national team.

“Gyasi is a talented forward that has been successful in this league and with the US men's national team," Columbus sporting director and head coach Gregg Berhalter said in a statement. "He is a high character individual and has a bright future in Major League Soccer and with our club. In addition to what we know Gyasi will bring to our playing system, we have received significant additional resources to help the club as we build our roster for the 2018 campaign."

Zardes scored six league goals in each of the 2015 and 2016 seasons and gradually played more often as a wide attacking midfielder rather than an out-and-out striker. Overall, he has 34 goals and 17 assists in 131 league appearances.

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