D.C. United have signed Sierra Leone international Alhaji Kamara. The 22-year-old forward most recently played for IFK Norrköping of the Swedish first division. Completion of the transfer is pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P1 Visa.
“Alhaji is a fast, dynamic striker...a true number nine,” said Dave Kasper, United general manager and VP of soccer operations. “His strength and speed immediately caught our attention and he has a nose for goal. He scored some big goals for his club last fall that helped them win the championship and qualify for UEFA Champions League.”
After being loaned to Malaysian side Johor Darul Ta'zim F.C. in March of 2015, Norrköping recalled Kamara in July, after which he helped the side win the league, making 13 appearances and scoring seven goals.
Kamara, who hails from Freetown on the West Coast of Sierra Leone, began his youth career with F.C. Kallon, one of the powerhouses in the Sierra Leone National Premier League, and the same club that compatriot and Columbus Crew SC forward Kei Kamara (no relation) began his career. After impressing with his athletic build and direct style of play, he signed on loan with Swedish first-division side Djurgårdens IF in 2012, beginning a career in Sweden in which eventually signed with Norrköping in 2014.
The 22-year-old amassed a strong goals-to-games ratio during his time with IFK Norrköping, playing in 48 games and scoring 21 goals across all competitions from 2014-2015.
Kamara has also been capped four times for Sierra Leone, playing in two Africa Cup of Nations matches and two World Cup Qualifiers. He scored his first international goal in a 2-1 WCQ win over Chad on Oct. 13, 2015.
Full Name: Alhaji Kamara
Birthplace: Freetown, Sierra Leone
Weight: 161 lbs
Previous Club: IFK Norrköping
Transaction: Signed by United on May 11, 2016 as a discovery signing and will occupy an international roster spot.
United have also waived rookie international midfielder and 2016 second round draft pick Paul Clowes. The 5-foot-9-inch midfielder was drafted 32nd overall out of Clemson University and earned a contract following preseason. Clowes was loaned to United’s USL affiliate Richmond Kickers and made one appearance, playing 24 minutes in the Kickers’ 3-1 victory over the Harrisburg City Islanders on March 26.
Transaction: Paul Clowes waived by United on May 11, 2016.