The Revolution have acquired forward Kei Kamara as a Designated Player in a trade with the Columbus Crew. The agreement was executed prior to the close of Major League Soccer’s 1 a.m. ET transfer window Thursday.
Kamara, who tied for the MLS lead in goals last season with 22 and has the second-most career goals (79) among active players in MLS, joins the Revs in the midst of his 10th season in the league. He’s made 234 MLS appearances, including 187 starts, recording 79 goals and 31 assists while logging 17,195 minutes in his MLS career.
His 79 career goals are second-most among active MLS players, trailing only San Jose’s Chris Wondolowski, who has recorded 116 career goals. The Sierra Leone native had a career-best year in 2015, making 32 appearances, including 31 starts, recording a tied for MLS-high 22 goals and eight assists. Kamara’s 2015 season saw the forward finish as runner-up for MLS MVP, named to the 2015 MLS All-Star roster, chosen for end-of-the-year MLS Best XI, and nominated for the MLS Player of the month four times.
“We have been looking to strengthen our team and we feel that this addition accomplishes just that,” said Revolution general manger Michael Burns. “Kei is a player who has had success and is a proven goal scorer in MLS. We’re pleased we were able to get this deal done and look forward to Kei’s arrival and integration into the team.”
Kamara was acquired in exchange for General Allocation Money, Targeted Allocation Money, New England’s highest first-round pick in the MLS SuperDraft in 2017, New England’s highest Second Round MLS SuperDraft pick in 2018, and one of New England’s international roster spots for the 2016 season. Additionally, Crew SC will retain a percentage of any future transfer fee for Kamara should he be transferred to a club outside of MLS. Kamara will occupy a Designated Player slot on the Revolution’s roster.
Kamara’s 2015 season saw the forward set all-time single-season club records for Crew SC in 2015 with 135 shots, 57 shots on goal, and seven game-winning goals. He was also only the second player in Crew SC history to record at least 20 goals in a single regular season. Kamara played a crucial role in the Black & Gold’s MLS Cup Playoff run, which saw Columbus qualify for and host MLS Cup. His four goals during the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs were most of any player in postseason play last year.
As the ninth overall pick in the first round of the 2006 MLS SuperDraft, Kamara was drafted by the then Columbus Crew. In his first stint in Columbus, from 2006-07, Kamara made 36 appearances, including 13 starts, recording five goals including his first professional goal in his first-ever MLS appearance on April 1, 2006 at Kansas City.
Kamara joined the San Jose Earthquakes in 2008, making 13 appearances, scoring two goals, before being traded to the Houston Dynamo in July. Kamara played with the Dynamo through the remainder of 2008 and into 2009. In Houston, Kamara made 32 appearances, with 26 starts, recording seven goals and adding three assists.
The Sierra Leone native emerged as one of the League’s most potent attackers at the beginning of the 2009 season, when he joined Sporting Kansas City. From 2009-13, the forward made 113 appearances, including 97 starts, scoring 38 goals and adding 20 assists. Kamara scored a goal in Sporting’s 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Championship match against Seattle Sounders FC, and converted on a penalty in the shootout, helping to lead SKC to a championship victory.
Kamara has made 24 appearances for the Sierra Leone National Team, scoring four goals. Kamara’s most recent international appearance came on Sept. 6, 2015, when the Leone Stars played the Ivory Coast to a scoreless draw in a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match.