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Kei Kamara returning the MLS? Regardless, his time’s done at Middlesbrough

Aug 28, 2014, 8:20 PM EDT

Kamara head shot

Kei Kamara’s time at Middlesbrough is done. Whether his career is England is over remains to be seen, but after player and club agreed to mutually part ways today, the former Columbus, San Jose, Houston, and Kansas City forward is reportedly interested in a return stateside, with a trio of playoff contenders tapped as possible destinations.

Kamara’s departure ends a season-long stay at the Riverside Stadium where he made 25 appearances (19 starts) last season, registering four goals. Over four games of the new Championship campaign, Kamara’s failed to log a minute, leaving the 29-year-old expendable from Aitor Karanka’s squad.

According to MLS’s website, the Sierra Leone international would like to return to Sporting Kansas City, where he scored 38 goals over four-plus seasons. Kansas City, however, no longer retains Kamara’s rights, having received a transfer fee from Boro for its former forward. With Sporting sitting 16th in allocation (the process by which Kamara would return to MLS, according to the league), Peter Vermes would have to trade for left wing target.

Citing a source out of Vancouver, the league’s website also relayed Kamara’s reported interest in Vancouver, a team that’s overflowing with attacking talent. Even if there was room for Kamara within Carl Robinson’s squad, the Whitecaps sit fourth in the allocation order.

At the top of that list is Columbus, a team that’s been looking to augment its squad all season. Though the Crew have been most prominently linked with midfield talent (U.S. international Mix Diskerud), striker has been among the team’s biggest needs all season. While Kamara’s finishing was always erratic, his physicality, presence in the air, and skill on the ball would make him a valuable addition.

But given the package he offers, Kamara would be a valuable addition to almost any team in MLS. The question is less talent than fit. While he would fit perfectly back in Kansas City, a spot in Vancouver would make him a bit player. Columbus? Or a team that targets that top allocation spot? They may have an entirely different idea of what to do with the versatile Kamara, who posted a goodbye message to his Twitter account earlier today:

  1. mdac1012 - Aug 29, 2014 at 7:27 AM

    This is where the allocation process is ridiculous. He should be able to negotiate with whatever team wants him and can afford him. If a team is up against the cap and can’t make room to sign him then so be it. I would think a returning player should have the same options a new player has, not less.

  2. Bill Gardner - Aug 29, 2014 at 6:12 PM

    The rule is in place to prevent shame transfers. Once a player is transferred his rights go to the league office. One must remember that the owners of the teams have all agreed that an allocation process is best. If not for the allocation draft and the league looking to maintain competitive balance MLS would be out of business just like the NASL. back then you ended up with one team, the Cosmos having all the talent. The Cosmos of the 1970’s were capable of beating any team in the world and did often, but they ended up not having anyone to play against….. so long NASL….. Pele, Beckenbauer, Caniggia, even Cruyff for a year……….. The Cosmos fielded no less than 45 players who won, not played in a world cup, won a world cup, and drew 70,000 people a game and still went out of business……

    • mdac1012 - Aug 29, 2014 at 7:48 PM

      The salary cap and DP system would and should maintain the competitive balance on its own. That was the big lesson learned from the old NASL. Also, Cruyff never played for the Cosmos, he played for the LA Aztecs and Washington Diplomats.

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