The Vancouver Whitecaps acquired striker Kei Kamara on Sunday in a trade with the New England Revolution.
New England gets Vancouver’s 2019 natural first round SuperDraft pick and a conditional 2020 second round SuperDraft selection in return. Kamara, who is under contract through 2018, joins 23-year-old Venezuelan striker Anthony Blondell as new players on the Whitecaps front line.
“I’m really excited to come to Vancouver,” said Kamara. “I’ve been following the club, and I know that they have a very competitive team that suits the way I play. I want to put pressure on myself to continue to score goals. Most importantly, I want to bring success to the Southsiders, Curva Collective, Rain City Brigade, and all the supporters and fans of this club.”
A proven MLS goalscorer, Kamara will officially be added to the club’s roster pending receipt of his international transfer certificate, Canadian work permit, and visa. He will occupy a Designated Player roster slot and is a domestic player as an American citizen.
Kamara has 103 goals and 39 assists in 298 appearances over 11 Major League Soccer seasons, including playoffs.
He’s 10th all-time in MLS regular-season goals with 98, second among active players behind only Chris Wondolowski.
If Kamara is re-assigned to another MLS team prior to the 2018 roster freeze, the conditional 2020 second round SuperDraft pick would become Vancouver’s natural first round selection. In addition, should Vancouver permanently transfer Kamara outside of MLS prior to the 2018 roster freeze, New England and Vancouver will evenly split the clubs’ share of the transfer proceeds.
The six-foot-three striker’s 11 seasons of MLS experience began as an MLS SuperDraft selection with the Columbus Crew in 2006. His MLS career includes stops with San Jose Earthquakes, Houston Dynamo, Kansas City Wizards/Sporting Kansas City, a return to Columbus, and most recently, with New England.
A two-time MLS All-Star, he led MLS in total goals, including playoffs, with 26 in 2015. That same year he was a finalist for the MLS Most Valuable Player award and was named to the MLS Best XI while leading Columbus to a runner-up finish in MLS Cup.
Outside of MLS, Kamara also played for then-English Premier League side Norwich City FC and English Football League Championship club Middlesbrough FC. He scored one goal in seven starts and 11 EPL appearances while on loan to Norwich during the second half of the in 2012-2013 season. Kamara then joined Middlesbrough for the 2013-14 season and scored four goals in 16 starts and 25 appearances.
Born in Kenema, Sierra Leone before taking up his citizenship in the United States in 2006, Kamara has made 26 appearances, several of them as captain, for his native country, scoring five goals for the Leone Stars.