The Columbus Crew have traded Kei Kamara to the New England Revolution in exchange for general allocation money, targeted allocation money, two future MLS SuperDraft picks and a 2016 international roster spot.
The Crew will retain a percentage of any future transfer fee for Kamara should he be transferred to a club outside of MLS. The agreement was completed prior to the close of Major League Soccer's 1 a.m. ET transfer window on Thursday.
“Kei had a memorable 2015 season and we recognize and understand how popular and productive he was, so this decision was not one we made lightly,” said Crew coach Gregg Berhalter. “Our actions will always reflect the values of our club and we believe this transaction will improve our competitiveness this year and in future years.”
The deal comes just days after a bizarre incident during Columbus' 4-4 draw Sunday against the Montreal Impact. Kamara, looking for a hat trick, was involved in a public argument with teammate Federico Higuain over who would take a penalty kick. Higuain ultimately stepped up to the spot and Kamara wasn't pleased after the match.
"We scored a lot of goals, but there was no team play," Kamara said after the match. "And that completely explains the way me and Federico behaved on the penalty kick."
Kamara was suspended one game by the Crew for his behavior, but the forward refused to apologize and said he did not agree with the punishment.
"I said what is on my mind and in my head." Berhalter said, "The action of Kei, speaking out against a teammate, is unacceptable. We have zero tolerance for that. Therefore, he won't be playing in the game Saturday — coach's decision.
"And then we try to move forward in the right way. We're a team that keeps things together. We keep things between ourselves, and that's why that decision was made."
The saga eventually ended right before the transfer window closed when Kamara was shipped off to a conference rival following a fantastic 2015 season which ended with a trip to the MLS Cup final, where the Crew lost 2-1 against the Portland Timbers.
Kamara, drafted ninth overall by Columbus in the 2006 MLS draft, scored 22 regular-season goals and posted 135 shots last season. He was named to the MLS Best XI for the first time in his career.
Kamara also played with the San Jose Earthquakes, Houston Dynamo, Sporting KC, Premier League side Norwich City and Championship team Middlesbrough.