Kei Kamara hits back after Columbus suspends him one game
Kei Kamara says he disagrees with Columbus Crew SC's decision to suspend him for one game following his spat with teammate Federico Higuain.
An argument occurred during Saturday's game against Montreal over who should take a penalty. Kamara had already scored twice and wanted a chance at a hat trick, but Higuain took the ball and scored.
Columbus went on to waste a 4-1 lead and settled for a 4-4 draw, and Kamara didn't hide his disappointment after the game, telling local TV "there was no team play."
Crew SC announced his punishment on Tuesday, and Kamara said he strongly disagreed with the decision, adding that he would not take back anything he said.
"[Coach Gregg Berhalter] told me that this morning, and obviously I didn't agree to it all," Kamara said. "I won't agree to it. But he's the boss, and if he says, 'We don't need you for the weekend. You're going to have to sit out for the weekend,' there's nothing I can do about that.
"I said what is on my mind and in my head."
Kamara will now miss Saturday's game against the MLS-leading Colorado Rapids.
"The action of Kei, speaking out against a teammate, is unacceptable," Berhalter said. "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."
It's just rumors guys...stay calm ♠️�� pic.twitter.com/fX0g7SJ0sC- KEI KAMARA (@keikamara) May 10, 2016
Sports Illustrated reported on Tuesday that Crew SC will try to trade Kamara before the MLS transfer window closes early Thursday morning.
Both Kamara and Huguain are designated players, which would hinder a move to the half of the league's teams, who already have the maximum three DPs.
Berhalter confirmed some teams have expressed an interest in signing Kamara, whose 22 goals last season tied for the most in MLS.
"I won't get into any specifics," Berhalter said. "But there's been teams that have reached out to us. I think that's normal, given that type of story and that type of profile player and what impact he can have in this league."
Kamara himself referred to his future with the team as an "if."
He said: "If I'm here for this club, I want to play for this club, I'm going to show my heart and leave everything out there. That's what I've been doing."
Despite the trade speculation, Kamara retained his sense of humor. Asked if he would take Higuain out to lunch to make up, he said: "My Chipotle card only covers one. It says, 'One meal a day.' I can't afford another one."