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Kei Kamara: Robbo Finally Gets His Man

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The Vancouver Whitecaps traded two draft picks to New England Sunday Morning in exchange for forward Kei Kamara

MLS: Atlanta United FC at New England Revolution David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Do you remember May 2016, when several media pundits broke the news that Kei Kamara had been traded to the Vancouver Whitecaps, with Octavio Rivero leaving? Remember how that did not occur, with Kamara instead heading to New England, and Rivero to Chile? Flash forward a year and a half and Carl Robinson has finally gotten his man.

In Major League Soccer’s short four-hour transfer window, on Sunday, the Vancouver Whitecaps acquired Kei Kamara from New England in exchange for the Caps first-round pick in the 2019 SuperDraft, and a condition second-round pick in the 2020 SuperDraft. The 33-year-old Kamara will occupy a designated player position for the Caps, with his contract running through the end of the 2018 season.

The acquisition of Anthony Blondell and Kei Kamara all but close the books on any hopes that Fredy Montero would be returning of a second season. However, Kamara should be a suitable offensive replacement for Montero, with a skillset more suited to the Whitecaps current method of attack: cross and pray.

In 2017, Kamara scored 12 goals and added five assists in 27 starts (2,365 minutes), while Montero scored 13 goals and added six assists in 26 starts (2,469 minutes).

Whitecapsfc.com writer Farhan Devji wrote this morning that “eight of Kamara’s 12 goals in 2017, and 20 of his 31 goals with Columbus Crew SC in 2015 and 2016, came from crosses”. Devji also notes that since 2015, Kamara leads the league in headed goals (19). Considering how heavily the Whitecaps relied on crosses in 2017 (3rd most), Kamara should have plenty of opportunities to add to his crosses/header goal totals.

What are your thoughts on this acquisition?