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Report: Kei Kamara is holding out from preseason for improved contract

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Kei Kamara was third highest earner on Crew SC roster in 2015.

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

And then there were (temporarily) none. Columbus Crew SC had two forwards depart in the offseason, but they could depend on the MVP finalist Kei Kamara to lead the line. That plan took a serious hit on Monday when the Washington Post’s Steve Goff reported that the team’s leading scorer last year is holding out for a renegotiated contract.

Kamara was present on Friday as the rest of the team assembled for physicals and prepared to head to Florida for the beginning of preseason. Gregg Berhalter had said he was working on unspecified fitness issues to assembled reporters at indoor training in suburban Lewis Center. A team spokesman reaffirmed this to Goff this evening and said that Kamara is expected to join the team in Florida on Tuesday morning.

Kamara spent part of the weekend taking in Chelsea’s win over Arsenal on Sunday morning at Fado in Easton Town Center.

Goff’s report stated that Kamara now faces the possibility of fines if he doesn’t report to training after his team approved leave of absence.

Kamara made a guaranteed salary of $536,666.67 was third on the team according to MLS Players salary information behind the $1.1 million salary that Federico Higuain pulled down and the near $600,000 salary that Gaston Sauro earned after he arrived in the summer. Ethan Finlay just received a new contract after a stellar 2015 season to replace the improved deal he signed in 2014 after his breakout season.

Kamara’s 22 goals were tied for the league lead with MLS MVP Sebastian Giovinco and was by far the best on the team.

Currently, Crew SC has no other forwards on the roster after out of contract forwards Jack McInerney moved to the Portland Timbers and Aaron Schoenfeld signed in Israel.