The LA Galaxy have acquired forward Ola Kamara from Columbus Crew SC in exchange for Gyasi Zardes and $400,000 in Targeted Allocation Money, the club announced today. Should Kamara score 12 goals or more, Crew SC will receive an additional $100,000 in Targeted Allocation Money.
“We are very excited to bring Ola to Los Angeles,” said LA Galaxy Head Coach Sigi Schmid. “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. ”
“We wish Gyasi all the best in Columbus and we are very appreciative of his efforts on and off the field for the LA Galaxy,” said LA Galaxy President Chris Klein. "Gyasi was an incredible part of this organization and a role model for many in the Los Angeles community.”
Kamara, 28, tallied 34 goals in 59 appearances during his two seasons with the Crew, originally joining the club as a Discovery Signing in February 2016. Kamara scored 18 goals in the 2017 MLS campaign, finishing fifth among all goal scorers in MLS that season. He finished eighth during the 2016 season, with 16 goals that year.
Kamara, David Villa, Diego Valeri, Bradley Wright-Phillips, Sebastian Giovinco and Ignacio Piatti are the only players in MLS to finish top ten in goals in both the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
Kamara made the move to MLS in 2016 after playing for Molde FK in the Norwegian topflight on loan from FK Austria Wien. Kamara has also spent time with other European clubs, including TSV 1860 München (Germany), Strømsgodset (Norway), Hønefoss (Norway) and Stabaek (Norway). Kamara began his professional career with Stabaek at the age of 16.
Internationally, Kamara has made nine appearances for the Norwegian National team, debuting for his country on Oct. 11, 2013. Two standout MLS seasons earned Kamara a recent call-up to his national team, as he appeared for Norway in two November 2017 friendlies against Macedonia and Slovakia.
Fans can get their first chance to see Ola Kamara at Sunday’s 2018 Season Ticket Member Jersey Launch Party, where LA Galaxy Season Ticket Members will have the opportunity to mingle with LA Galaxy players and coaches.
Zardes, signed as a Homegrown Player, departs from the LA Galaxy after making 131 appearances in five seasons for the club, recording 34 goals and 17 assists along the way. Zardes was a member of LA Galaxy’s 2014 MLS Cup-winning team, scoring the opening goal in the match. He first joined the LA Galaxy Academy in 2008.
The Galaxy acquire Kamara after signing midfielder Perry Kitchen, defender Jorgen Skjelvik, defender Rolf Feltscher, goalkeeper David Bingham, defender Emrah Klimenta, goalkeeper Brian Sylvestre, midfielder Servando Carrasco and re-signing defender Ashley Cole and midfielder Baggio Husidic this offseason.