D.C. United looks to finally be making their big summer transfer window move, as they’re apparently very close to spending nearly $3 million in total to bring Ola Kamara back to MLS. Steve Goff of The Washington Post broke the news, saying that the deal will apparently involve a $2.5 million transfer fee going to Shenzhen FC, Kamara’s current club in the Chinese Super League as well as $250,000 in some kind of allocation money to acquire the top spot in MLS’s allocation order from the Colorado Rapids.
Kamara, 29, only just moved to Shenzen in February, but despite a reported $3.5 million transfer fee, the Chinese side has not been a good fit. According to WhoScored.com, Kamara had an assist in his debut, but only appeared 5 times in total. His last game for the club was a 90-minute outing during a 0-0 draw with Tianjin TEDA back on June 16.
Despite that, Kamara’s MLS track record points to this being a successful move for United. The 6’ Oslo native had an incredible strike rate during his three seasons in MLS, scoring 48 goals in just 90 appearances. While he never quite matched his scintillating 2016 form (16 goals and 2 assists in just 25 games for the Columbus Crew), he still posted 18 goals in 2017, and then scored 14 despite having to play on the wing after being traded to the LA Galaxy.
Kamara’s skill set is that of a true striker whose off-the-ball runs lead to clear-cut scoring chances. Kamara will look to run the channels and break in behind the defense for through balls, which should mesh well with Wayne Rooney and Luciano Acosta. However, his role in the near term is totally unclear, and Ben Olsen will have to figure out how to incorporate that trio, Paul Arriola, and potentially Lucas Rodriguez into one coherent formation.
Kamara is also a regular for Norway’s national team, and scored a late equalizer in their 3-3 draw with Sweden in a Euro 2020 qualifier back in March. In Norway’s lats two qualifiers, Kamara has come off the bench, including a six-minute stint last month against the Faroe Islands. In total, Kamara has 17 caps, with 7 goals scored.
During his previous spell in MLS, Kamara acquired a green card, meaning that if playing abroad did not change his status, he would count as a domestic player in MLS. However, with Zoltan Stieber’s departure and Joseph Mora receiving his green card (more on that later this evening), international roster spots are not an immediate concern.