It finally happened. After rumors swirled the last few days that Columbus Crew SC was looking to trade forward Kei Kamara, the team's leading scorer was dealt at the deadline to the New England Revolution for General Allocation Money, Targeted Allocation Money, two future MLS SuperDraft picks and 2016 international roster spot. Columbus will also retain a percentage of any future transfer fee for Kamara outside MLS.
"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," sporting director and head coach Gregg Berhalter said in the press release. "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."
The writing was on the wall for Kamara, who led the team with 22 goals in 32 games played in his return to Columbus in 2015, after a verbal confrontation occurred in the Black & Gold's last league match against the Montreal Impact on Saturday. The forward already had two goals in the match when a second half penalty kick was awarded. Naturally Kamara wanted to take it and argued for several minutes with teammate Federico Higuain.
After the disagreement was settled by captain Michael Parkhurst, who had to come upfield from his center back position, Higuain took the penalty kick and scored, giving Columbus a 4-1 lead. When the referee blew the final whistle, the Impact had scored three unanswered during a second half Crew SC collapse that began with the penalty kick incident.
Following the match, Kamara went off to reporters about Higuain, stating he did not need him to score goals and the rest is history.
On Tuesday, head coach Gregg Berhalter announced that Kamara would be suspended for Saturday's match against the Colorado Rapids for his comments to the media, clarifying that this club handles disputes internally. Berhalter also admitted the team had received offers for both Kamara and Higuain.
Despite rumors swirling around, no move had been made following the Black & Gold's 1-0 international friendly victory Wednesday night.
Berhalter is asked if he expects to make a trade before the deadline. He responded "I have no idea." #CrewSC— Patrick Murphy (@_Pat_Murphy) May 12, 2016
Following the match, there were reports that a deal was imminent between Columbus and the Vancouver Whitecaps that would send Kamara out west, but that did not come through.
Kamara finishes his second stint with Crew SC with 41 appearances and 27 goals