MLS star Kamara sent to New England Revolution after dispute, criticism
New York (AFP) – Striker Kei Kamara was traded Thursday from the Columbus Crew to the New England Revolution in a Major League Soccer swap days after a heated argument with teammate Federico Higuain.
Kamara, a 31-year-old from Sierra Leone who led the MLS with 22 goals last year, was involved in a spat with his Argentine former teammate last Saturday over who would take a penalty in a 4-4 draw with Montreal.
Higuain eventually converted the spotkick to give the Crew a 4-1 lead, but Kamara ripped him and the club after the match, in which the Canadian side scored three goals in the last 33 minutes to draw.
“We scored a lot of goals, but there was no team play and that completely explains the way me and Federico behaved on the penalty kick,” Kamara said. “A team who stays together will win games. A team that doesn’t, not going to win games. And that’s horrible. We are home, we go up that much and to give that many, it’s horrible.”
Kamara had been suspended Tuesday for Saturday’s home match against Colorado and blasted Crew coach Gregg Berhalter for his zero tolerance policy over what the mentor saw as unacceptable actions by Kamara.
“I won’t agree to it, but he’s the boss and if he says, ‘We don’t need you for the weekend. You’re going to have to sit out for the weekend,’ there’s nothing I can do about that,” Kamara said.
The trade, just ahead of Thursday’s MLS transfer deadline, saw the Revolution send a record $300,000 in allocation money and two draft picks to the Crew but no players.
“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,” Berhalter said.
“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, who had a brief English stint with Norwich City and Middlesbrough in 2013-14, has scored 79 goals in 234 career MLS matches.
“Kei is a player who has had success and is a proven goal scorer,” said Revolution general manger Michael Burns. “We’re pleased we were able to get this deal done.”