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MLS- Sporting Kansas City

Kamara makes Boro move

KeiKamaraSportingKC3-Crew (SportingKC)

By DAN KARELL

With negotiations extending through the final moments of the summer transfer window, Kei Kamara has secured a move back to England.

According to reports in England, Kamara has made a full transfer to Middlesbrough in the English Championship, signing a two-year contract at the Riverside Stadium. (UPDATE: Both clubs confirmed the transfer, with Boro saying that Kamara signed a two-year deal with a one-year option.)  The former Sporting Kansas City winger spent time from January to May with Norwich City in the Premier League, scoring once in 11 appearances.

“We are delighted that Kei’s here,” Middlesbrough head coach Tony Mowbray said in a club statement. “He will add to our attacking options all across the front line. He’ll bring some added power, pace and an aerial threat to our squad.”

The 29-year-old Sierra Leone international has been one of the most feared players in Major League Soccer since he joined Sporting KC in 2010. In that time, Kamara’s finished the 2010 and 2012 seasons as top scorer for the club, scoring 37 total league goals in three and a half seasons.

Sporting Kansas City confirmed that they would received two-thirds of the transfer fee to use as allocation money, which can be used to sign new players, resign current players to new contracts, and more.

What do you think of this news? Do you see Kamara finding success at ‘Boro? How do you see this move impacting Sporting KC? How many goals do you see Kamara scoring in the Championship?

Share your thoughts below.

53 comments
  • Siberian

    So he’s gone immediately? This sucks for Kansas City. It’s just really bad timing, but I guess that’s what happens when you play in the summer. We’re going to win nothing this year. I’m also not happy with Vermes, who is just average, but SKC resigned him. I realize my expectations were probably too high at the beginning of the season, but it sucks to lose your best players right before the end of the season and playoffs.

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    • mack

      Where is the average comment coming from. True on a global scale but not for MLS. Hard to argue anyone has been better at player development except maybe kreis.

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      • Siberian

        Fair enough. Vermes is fine. And yes I do consider Kreis to be the best coach in MLS. Arena and Kinnear also top.

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      • Gary Page

        And keep your eye on Caleb Porter who has worked wonders with Portland;

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    • mouf

      haha, “average”, look at the middle of MLS. Middle of the history of our club. Look at reality.

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    • The Imperative Voice

      The tough thing is they probably have to make do the rest of the season. If this move happens earlier they can make their own countervailing personnel move. But this means for the balance of the season and playoffs they’re playing “down a man,” personnel wise. They’re probably even used to it but it can’t help their chances.

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      • Ian

        I don’t see how that could be perceived as backhanded. The Championship is a step-up from MLS; in pay, at the very minimum.

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      • g-dub

        Idea: there should be some sort of Championship vs. MLS “Across the Pond” challenge series – like the SuperLiga was with LigaMx for a minute. I would watch that.

        The top two non-Concacaf CL participating MLS teams would play the top two non-promoted Coca-Cola Championship teams in a competitive home-and-home series – with sizeable prize money on the line for the winner and runner up. Hold it in mid-late summer when there’s space in the MLS calendar and the euros are in preseason tour mode.

        Awesome cross-marketing potential.

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      • Brain Guy

        Just how is it that “there’s space in the MLS calendar” in mid-late summer? It’s a nice idea, but enough with the unnecessary in-season distractions. Do you think the Championship sides would bother to squeeze in extra games during the MLS preseason, when their own regular season is in full swing?

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    • Tony in Quakeland

      People have been saying this guy’s peaked for years – like when the Quakes tossed him out because they didn’t think he’d cut it. Frankly, considering his story, I would never say he’s reached his final level. I think he is an EPL level player.

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      • Gary Page

        I was surprised Norwich didn’t sign him. I thought he looked pretty good whenever I saw him play for them.

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      • The Imperative Voice

        They wanted someone to come in and score goals and elevate them from relegation strugglers. He may have looked good but he had one goal and they barely stayed up. It’s a ruthless business. Sometimes I wish my Dynamo treated the forward position like this….5 goals a season does not make you a good forward even if you’re a good team player and locker room guy.

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  • Jeff

    As a KC season ticket holder I’m not happy. With our system we need Kei’s wing play.
    He’s so dynamic, fast, and hard to handle that no one else can fill that role.
    That being said he has not looked good. lately.. Not completely in the game or something.
    Maybe the two are connected. Either way we have ccl and playoffs coming up… Seems like this will hurt us.
    Kei could easily slot into Swansea’s system but Middlesbrough???? A step backward.

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    • Noah

      MLS teams have to operate on a budget. Losing Kamara is tough, but with his salary off the books plus the allocation money his sale brings, you can afford to keep the core of your team together.

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      • Yusef

        That is a very good understanding of the situation. I appreciate the perspective.

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      • Lil' Zeke

        Just on the the strength of yours and Jeff’s responses, y’all KC supporters seem uncommonly pleasant

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  • Rory

    Good for him. Kind of wish more Americans would go to the top championship teams. I think that would help some of the guys, just the pressure to win a job on a team that can afford multiple options at every position.

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    • slowleftarm

      Would prefer MLS to rise to the level that a Championship team is a step down. Not there yet, but it’ll happen sooner than later.

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      • Mueller

        I think RSL and LA are better than some of Prem teams, let alone the Championship teams. It all comes down to money, not quality.

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      • The Imperative Voice

        He just got through playing EPL and I think Championship is sideways but with some adjustment in terms of tactics and expectations.

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      • Madaoua05

        He earned $300k last year at SKC. A good wage, especially in a city like KC where the cost of living is more reasonable.

        My uneducated guess is that he will now earn close to $1M (13k pounds/week). Despite the higher tax rates in England, he still will take home $500-600k.

        Beyond just wages, Middlesborough has an outside chance of earning a promotion to the Premier Leagues next year. I’d be willing to leave a comfortable situation like SKC for an extra few hundred dollars + the chance at the Premier League.

        One other thought, Riverside Stadium is a beautiful stadium, and Middlesborough has some great tradition. And yet, the northeast of England leaves something to be desired.

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      • patrick

        he’s not making anywhere near 1 million. THe average salary in championship is somewhere around 210,000 pounds, so he’d be making more than twice the average salary, for a guy with 11 games in England.

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      • Madaoua05

        Ah, the beauty of mathematics — an average implies values above and below. I’m confident that he’s earning much more than the Championship average.

        Think about it for a second — 210,000 pounds equals $327k. After British taxes, Kamara would earn close to $200k. I would find it hard to believe that Kamara would leave $300k (okay, $250k after KC taxes) to move across the Atlantic for less money, less prestige, and northeast England.

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      • The Imperative Voice

        If they make a transfer move for you as a forward signing based on how you looked at Norwich I doubt they are paying you either the team or league averages. I assume he’s at the high end of the payscale.

        Also, he’s had a few years in MLS and got a taste of EPL and may want “Europe” in a similar emotional way to so many people on here would have anyone with talent in MLS move abroad. One failing of Chicago economics is the presumption that people are purely rational actors. But even if they offered the same basic salary (even after taxes), maybe he wants the subjective experience of playing in England back.

        Heck, even if he was rational maybe he sees this as a rung back to EPL by further transfer. Play well for Boro and transfer back to EPL Band maybe those personal terms are the eyepopper.

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  • Drew

    Wow I never realized he was 29. I’m not sure why, but I just assumed he was 24-26. Good for him on the move and best of luck!

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    • patrick

      Kei has been around MLS for a long, long time, but it seems like people really took notice of him when he landed in KC.

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      • mouf

        he was a locker room cancer and journeyman before Vermes put some sense in him.

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  • Gary Page

    I haven’t seen much of his putative replacements, but I don’t see how this helps SKC.

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      • Camjam

        “two year deal with a one year option”, and KC loses all rights to Kamra when they receive a fee. You seem pretty confident in spite of the facts.

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    • mouf

      Saad has talent coming out his ears, but is young. It hurts, but the wings will be Zusi and Saad, both who are more talented players than Kamara, just don’t have that crazy athleticism and ability in the air.

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  • Quit whining about soccer in the US

    The ripping on MLS banter is stronger than ever now that Dempsey came over to MLS.

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  • divers suck

    I’m going to surmise that Middlesbrough is quite a jump in salary for Kamara. That’s the only reason I can think of with going to a bottom half 2nd tier English team, arguably on par or maybe a tad lower than MLS level of play…..Best of luck to you Kei Kamara!

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  • Kevin

    As a SKC supporter I am sad from a personal stand point to see Kei go, had a change to meet him and he is a better person than soccer player and I think he is a very good soccer player. I wish him the best of luck over in England and hope is his playing in the premier league within a year or two.

    For Sporting Kei was the the 7th oldest player on the team (2 older than him are keepers) and plays a position in which there is young talented players sitting on the bench. Does Sporting have one player to replace what Kei did? NO. However Sporting did not have a player to replace what Roger did when he left, yes Sporting is giving up more goals than they did last year, but we are scoring more now as well.

    Saad has been playing great since he was given the chance. Dwyer is going to be a very good player. We also have Bunbury and Sapong who I still think are going to improve. The oldest of these players in 24 years old. The well is far from dry.

    I still think Sporting will do very well in the CCL (Kei has not played yet in 2 away wins) and I don’t think we are out of the running to win a trophy this year. Bottom line to me is with all this young talent is it was a great business move to be able to have money to resign these younger players or go get a player for next year if needed.

    Like

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