Monday, September 02, 2013

Farewell to Kamara

Both teams have made the announcement, Kei Kamara is officially on his way to England to play for Middlesbrough FC, currently in the Championship. Boro, who is currently in 15th place in the Championship in this very young season has signed the Sierra Leone striker to a 2 year contract with an option for a third (although their post on the club's site has a picture of Teal Bunbury instead of Kamara). Neither team stated the amount of the transfer fee, but reports out of the UK is that Middlesbrough paid £900,000 for Kamara's services, which is $1,398,960. That means, with Kansas City getting 2/3rds of the fee, KC will get $932,460 in allocation money for the deal.

The down side of that deal is that Sporting KC loses all rights to Kamara. So should he return to MLS at some point, he would not necessarily come back to Kansas City. Unlike Roger Espinoza who Sporting keep the rights for, if Kamara returns he will go through the allocation process.

Since Kansas City traded for him late in the 2009 season, Kamara has grown into a fan favorite here. From setting up a snow ball fight in 2011 to buying Chipotle for fans upon his return to Kansas City from his loan with Norwich, Kamara has endeared himself to the fans of Kansas City. For me, that started the day KC traded for him. When I heard about the trade I immediately went to Facebook and decided to friend KC's newest striker, because at the time that's what plenty of KC fans did because there weren't a ton of us. With my request I sent him a message welcoming him to Kansas City, because I personally was excited to have him (which had as much to do with KC trading Abe Thompson as it did acquiring Kamara). To my surprise I got a response from Kamara. He thanked me and said he'd always remember it because it was the first message he got. I don't know if it's true, and honestly I don't really care if he remembers that or not. The fact that he took the time to respond made him a favorite in my book. Even with the frustrations he some times caused with his shot selection and some of his dribbling.

And in his departure from KC, he let KC fans know what they meant, and I have no doubt that the feelings were true. In his arrival in KC, it was obvious he didn't want to be here, and he almost left after that looking to spend time abroad. But as Kamara said in an interview after the US Open Cup final, "obviously Kansas City has been the best place for me ever."

He came to KC with rumors of being a locker room cancer and having an attitude problem, but here in KC he developed into a player that looked to be an MLS lifer to one that spent time on loan in the English Premier League and now has been sought after enough to require a transfer fee.

Kamara ends his career in KC with plenty of honors and a strong place on many of Kansas City's offensive lists. In his career he led KC in scoring three times, only Preki (five times) led the team in scoring more. He also is the only player to lead KC in scoring three straight years. He finishes his career fifth in league goals with 38, only one behind Chris Klein, and fifth in all competitions with 41, two behind Klein. He was tied for the third most league game winners with Josh Wolff with 11, and was tied for fourth with Wolff in all competitions with 12. He also leaves KC 19th all time in league minutes played with 8,909 for KC and 19th in all competitions with 9,967. Kamara was also 19th in starts in league play (97) and starts in all competitions (108).

Kamara got to be here to oversee the great turnaround in KC support for the game and Kansas City becoming what it is today. I wish him luck in the future.


Nathan Martin said...

Somewhere Abe Thompson's self Google alert just went off.

Unfortunately, he fumbled the click so compeletely that his phone shattered against his neighbor's ceiling across the street.

(A rare PV victory over Dom Kinnear, indeed.)

Unknown said...

So, why doesn't SKC keep the rights to Kamara if he comes back to the league?

Mike said...

Because we received money for him.

Morpheus11 said...

I wish Kamara the best and I hope that after a successful career in England he comes back to KC, even if he doesn't come back as a player.