D.C. United is planning to sell reserve forward Alhaji Kamara to a club overseas, sources familiar with the situation said late Sunday.
Kamara, 23, was not with the goal-starved team for the U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday or the MLS match in Toronto on Saturday. He was also absent from his usual assignment with the second-division Richmond Kickers over the weekend. His name did not appear on United’s injury list.
General Manager Dave Kasper and Coach Ben Olsen didn’t reply to messages seeking comment. United spokeswoman Lindsay Simpson said the team doesn’t have a comment on Kamara at this time.
According to sources who requested anonymity because the matter is unresolved, Kamara has been seeking to leave the club in order to play regularly elsewhere. A Middle Eastern team has taken particular interest in Kamara, one source said. In exchange, United would receive a small transfer fee.
The Sierra Leone native has appeared in one MLS match this season, a 14-minute stint at Orlando on May 31. In nine appearances with Richmond, Kamara has posted a team-high four goals, including a hat trick against Ottawa on May 27.
United went to great lengths to acquire him last year. Sidelined for months with a congenital heart defect, Kamara needed to pass a battery of tests before being allowed to resume his career. In his first appearance last May, he scored 33 seconds after entering against Kansas City to set the league record for fastest goal in an MLS debut.
A hamstring injury, however, sidelined him for months. This preseason, after United acquired forwards Jose Guillermo Ortiz and Sebastien Le Toux, Kamara was designated for a season-long assignment to the Kickers.
United had the flexibility to recall him at any time. Despite United’s league-low 10 goals in 15 matches, though, Kamara has remained largely in the background. His departure would clear an international roster slot and a small amount of budget space. (His salary is $80,000.)
Ortiz (Costa Rica) might also be on his way out; he has scored once in 12 appearances (five starts) and hasn’t added much to the attack in general. His salary is $130,000. He’s on loan from Costa Rican club Herediano.
With 10 scoreless performances this season, including six in the past seven games, United (4-8-3) is seeking to acquire a forward during the summer transfer window, which will open July 9. The organization is looking to address other positions, as well, through signings or trades.
D.C. will host Atlanta (6-6-3) on Wednesday and visit Philadelphia (4-7-4) on Saturday before facing New England in the Open Cup round of 16 on June 28 at Harvard University.