LA Galaxy send Zardes to Columbus for Kamara

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Jennifer Buchanan
Sigi Schmid's side has acquired the Norway international in exchange for the U.S. national team forward and $400,000 in allocation money

The Columbus Crew have acquired U.S. national team forward Gyasi Zardes and $400,000 in targeted allocation money from the LA Galaxy in exchange for Norway international Ola Kamara, the MLS clubs announced Saturday.

Kamara has scored 35 goals in 64 MLS matches since joining the Crew from Austria Vienna in 2016. Last season, the 28-year-old finished fifth in MLS with 18 regular season goals.

Zardes, 26, has recorded 36 goals and 18 assists over 139 MLS matches since signing with the Galaxy as a homegrown player in 2013. He also has scored six goals in 37 appearances for the U.S., representing his country at the 2016 Copa America Centenario and the Gold Cup in 2015 and 2017.

"We are excited to welcome Gyasi to Columbus," Crew coach Gregg Berhalter said in a news release. "Gyasi is a talented forward that has been successful in this league and with the U.S. men's national team. He is a high character individual and has a bright future in Major League Soccer and with our club.

"In addition to what we know Gyasi will bring to our playing system, we have received significant additional resources to help the club as we build our roster for the 2018 campaign. We want to thank Ola for his two successful seasons with our club and we wish him the best in the next chapter of his career."

Capped nine times by Norway, Kamara gives the Galaxy the true striker the club has lacked since Robbie Keane exited following the 2016 season.

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More often used as a winger in recent years, Zardes struggled to fill that void last season while scoring just two goals in 24 matches as the Galaxy finished with a league-worst 8-18-8 record.

"We are very excited to bring Ola to Los Angeles," Galaxy coach Sigi Schmid said. "He has been one of the league’s most productive forwards during his two seasons in MLS and we believe he will be a great fit in our attack. We look forward to him joining our squad."

Speaking to the Galaxy's official website, Kamara said: "I'm super excited about the move. I wanted a new chapter and to get to a club that everybody knows in the whole world is cool. Being from Europe, everyone knows Galaxy. It’s a big challenge for me, and I’m very excited."

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