WASHINGTON (August 7, 2019) - D.C. United have acquired Norwegian International forward Ola Kamara from Chinese side Shenzhen F.C. for $2.5 million, using Targeted Allocation Money, pending receipt of his P1 visa. It is the second-largest transfer fee in club history. The Black-and-Red acquired the #1 spot in the 2019 Allocation Ranking from the Colorado Rapids in exchange for $200,000 in General Allocation Money; $100,000 GAM in 2019 and $100,000 GAM in 2020.
"We are extremely excited to acquire a dynamic attacking talent in Ola Kamara," Dave Kasper, General Manager and VP of Soccer Operations, said. "He has been one of the most prolific goal scorers in MLS during his three years with the Crew and Galaxy and he will be a key offensive piece for us as we look towards the 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs and beyond. Ola will add athleticism to our front line along with his intelligent off the ball movement and innate finishing ability. We're looking forward to integrating Ola to the team and having him on the field in this important stretch of the season."
Kamara spent the first part of the 2019 season with Shenzhen F.C. in the Chinese first division. He recorded one assist in six appearances across all competitions.
In three MLS seasons, Kamara scored 48 goals and recorded eight assists in 90 MLS appearances (83 starts). During that stint, Kamara was the fourth most prolific goalscorer in MLS behind Bradley Wright-Phillips, David Villa and Josef Martinez. He was also fifth for most shots on target with 108. Kamara was selected 12 times to the MLS Team of the Week for his performances.
Kamara started his MLS career when he joined Columbus Crew SC on Feb. 4, 2016 from Austria Vienna in the Austrian Football Bundesliga. In his first season with the Crew, Kamara scored 16 goals and recorded two assists in 25 appearances (20 starts) including two game-winning goals. The following season, Kamara scored 18 goals and recorded three assists in 34 appearances (33 starts).
On Jan. 20, 2018, Kamara was acquired by the LA Galaxy. In one season with the Western Conference side, Kamara scored 14 goals and recorded three assists in 31 appearances (30 starts). At the conclusion of the 2018 MLS Season, Kamara was acquired by Shenzen F.C. in China on Feb. 28, 2019.
Kamara made his International debut for Norway on Oct. 13, 2013 in a 3-0 loss against Slovenia in World Cup Qualification. He scored his first goal for Norway in the 2-1 win against Moldova in an International friendly on Jan. 15, 2014. In total, Kamara has scored seven goals in 17 appearances for his country with his most recent appearance coming on June 10, 2019 in a 2-0 win against the Faroe Islands in European Qualifiers.
The 29-year-old started his professional career with Frigg Oslo FK in 2005 in the second division of Norwegian soccer at the age of 15. He moved to Stabæk Fotball of the Norwegian first tier when he signed on July 1, 2005. In five seasons (2006-2009), Kamara made seven appearances for the Norwegian team.
The forward moved to Strømsgodset IF in Norway on January 1, 2009 and became an integral part of the team's offense. In six seasons (2009-2014), Kamara scored 49 goals and recorded 13 assists in 125 appearances across all competitions in two stints with the club.
Kamara was acquired by SV Reid in the Austrian Football Bundesliga on December 31, 2013. He subsequently went out on loan to 1860 Munich in the German Bundesliga on Jan 20, 2013. He recorded two assists in 10 appearances before the end of his loan. Kamara was then loaned back to Strømsgodset IF in Norway for his second stint with the club.
The Oslo-native signed with Austria Vienna in the Austrian Football Bundesliga on Jan. 27, 2014. Kamara scored two goals and recorded four assists in 23 appearances in two seasons with the club. He was loaned to Molde FK in Norway on January 28, 2015 and scored 21 goals and recorded eight assists in 44 appearances. Following his time with Molde FK, Kamara returned to Austria Vienna before his subsequent move to Major League Soccer.
Player: Ola Kamara
Birthplace: Oslo, Norway
Previous Club: Shenzhen F.C.
Transaction: D.C. United acquired forward Ola Kamara from Chinese side Shenzhen F.C., for $2.5 million, using Targeted Allocation Money pending receipt of his P1 visa. The Black-and-Red acquired the #1 spot in the 2019 Allocation Ranking from the Colorado Rapids in exchange for $200,000 in General Allocation Money; $100,000 GAM in 2019 and $100,000 GAM in 2020.