Kei Kamara has signed with the Columbus Crew, making his return to Major League Soccer after a year-long stint in the English Football League Championship.
There was speculation going back to the transfer window that Kamara wanted to come back to MLS and, given that Columbus was top of the allocation order after Houston took DaMarcus Beasley, the Crew became a top target for the former Sporting KC forward.
Today, he sent out a tweet from Columbus with the hashtag #NewCrew, their promotional tag for the club rebrand.
#NewCrew pic.twitter.com/m6lW1DLYu1— KEI KAMARA (@keikamara) October 7, 2014
He was then welcomed to the team by Hector Jimenez.
Welcome to the team @keikamara Happy to have you here. #Crew96— Hector Jimenez (@HectorJimenez09) October 7, 2014
The team finally announced it early this afternoon.
OFFICIAL - #Crew96 signs @KeiKamara via the @MLS allocation ranking: http://t.co/W8H0v2Yct9 #NewCrew— Columbus Crew (@ColumbusCrew) October 7, 2014
He will join the Crew for the 2015 season, meaning even if Sporting Kansas City and the Columbus Crew were to meet in the 2014 MLS Cup playoffs he would not play against his former club this season. With the uncertainty regarding conferences and the amount of teams in the league next season, there's no guarantee that Kamara could make a return to Sporting Park in 2015 either.
Kamara was originally drafted by the Crew in 2006, before hopping around MLS for a few years. He joined the Kansas City Wizards in 2009 and was a big part of the attack through 2012, becoming a fan-favorite during the rebrand and the wave of success. He left Sporting KC to go on loan to Norwich City from January 2013 through the end of their season, rejoining Sporting KC in May. He left Sporting permanently a few months later to go to Middlesborough, where he suffered injuries and did not have much success.