After Huge Trade, Columbus Crew Sans Kei Kamara Tie MLS-Best New England Revolution

Kei Kamara is no longer with the Columbus Crew SC, as the forward was dealt to the New England Revolution in one of the biggest trades in Major League Soccer history. Getting off to a slow start one season after making it to the MLS Cup Finals, the Crew made the seemingly hasty decision to send Kamara to the Revolution after some drama over a penalty kick.

Just days after sending Kamara to New England, Columbus welcomed the Colorado Rapids to Mapfre Stadium. While the Crew SC struggle at the bottom of the Eastern Conference, the draw gave the Rapids all they needed to remain at the top of the entire league with 24 points.

While no one likes to settle for a draw, tying the best team in the league right after losing arguably the best player on your team provides hope for the Columbus Crew SC that all is not lost for the 2016 season.

Kei Kamara trade

Ever since Kei and Federico Higuain argued over who should take a penalty kick, rumors have been that the friction between Kamara and Higuain was the sole reason for the trade. As coach Gregg Berhalter said, it was about more than that.

"It was not solely about this weekend, and that's an important point. We've been evaluating this and this is something that we had to decide for the culture of the club -- what direction we were going to go in. It was not based on last weekend alone."

As is made obvious by the transcript posted at the Columbus Crew SC official website, few people are buying the story that this trade ultimately was about anything other than the penalty kick drama.

In what some are calling one of the biggest trades in MLS history, the Crew will receive New England's highest 2017 MLS SuperDraft pick in the first round, the highest 2018 second-round pick, General and Targeted Allocation Money and one international roster spot for 2016.

Columbus Crew SC vs. Colorado Rapids

Cedrick Mabwati scored for Columbus in the 23rd minute, and they lead 1-0 for over 30 minutes of game play. In a scene that must have felt ironic given the number of times Kei Kamara had scored this way as a member of the Crew, Colorado's Kevin Doyle scored on a header to equalize.

The goalkeepers had almost identical stats, with four saves and one goal against. The only cards of the game were yellows given to Doyle and Shkelzen Gashi of the Colorado Rapids, both for Unsporting Behavior.


MLS Standings

With 24 points, the Colorado Rapids lead the entire MLS. In the Western Conference, FC Dallas (23) trails by just one point and the Vancouver Whitecaps FC are in third place with 20 points. Both Dallas and Vancouver have played one more game than Colorado. The sixth place Real Salt Lake (17) is one point ahead of the Eastern Conference-leading Montreal Impact (16).

In the MLS Eastern Conference, the Columbus Crew SC (10) are in ninth place. However, they are still just six points behind the Impact, and Columbus has played one less game than Montreal.

Where to Watch

The Columbus Crew SC will travel to play the Toronto FC for their next game on Saturday, May 21. The game will be televised regionally on the CW Columbus and TWC SportsChannel and is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. EST. The Colorado Rapids travel to play the Seattle Sounders FC, their game beginning at 10 p.m. EST.

Kei Kamara will get the chance to go head-to-head with his former team on September 3 when the New England Revolution host the Columbus Crew SC.

[Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images]