KAMARA JOINS 100 CLUB
In the 28th minute of his 300th overall MLS match, Vancouver Whitecaps FC forward Kei Kamara scored the 100th MLS regular-season goal of his career. The moment came as Kamara himself earned a penalty before stepping up to dispatch with aplomb against Houston Dynamo at the BBVA Compass Stadium.
The 33-year-old, in his 12th season in MLS, has scored goals for the Whitecaps, Columbus Crew SC, Sporting KC, Houston, San Jose Earthquakes and New England Revolution. He becomes the 10th player to achieve the milestone, last reached by Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski on May 24th, 2015, and joins an exclusive list featuring Landon Donovan, Dwayne De Rosario and Jaime Moreno.
What’s more, he is level with Edson Buddle on 100, so will pass him with one more goal. With Taylor Twellman on 101 and De Rosario on 104, Rundown expects him at least to reach seventh on the all-time list before the season is out. Jason Kreis on 108 in sixth should be Kamara’s target.
ATLANTA DRAW A CROWD
Rundown notices that sometimes people take a shot at MLS, calling it a tin-pot league in a country which is much more enamoured with an oval-shaped ball.
Tell that to the 72,035 who attended Atlanta United’s home fixture with D.C. United in the Mercedes Benz Stadium. Packed to the rafters, 72,035 breaks Atlanta’s own record, eclipsing the 71,874 who attended last year’s season finale at the same stadium against Toronto FC on Decision Day, and the Five Stripes takes over the No. 5 spot on MLS’ all-time list of largest-ever attendances.
That overall list comes with a big asterisk, however, as the four games ahead of Atlanta’s weekend turnout were all part of doubleheaders with international matches, meaning that Atlanta now own the top three largest-ever single-game regular-season attendance totals.
OUT FOR THE SEASON
Rundown hates to see any player miss a whole season through injury but unfortunately Minnesota United’s midfielder Kevin Molino will miss the entire season with a torn left ACL, a devastating injury for a player who was off to a strong start in 2018. What’s heartbreaking is that this is the second time Molino will miss a season due to a torn ACL, fans will recall he played just seven games for Orlando City in 2015 before tearing his right ACL.
Minnesota may struggle to replace Molino’s production and ability in the final third, but United coach Adrian Heath said his biggest concerns are for the player he first signed out of Trinidad and Tobago when coaching Orlando City in the USL in 2011.
“My relationship with Kevin goes back a long way, I’ve always been very close with him, I’ve always had a great belief in his ability as a player,” Heath told MLSSoccer.com. “I know how devastating this will be for him. … The fact that he is going to miss the season is a huge blow for everybody, but especially the kid. The one thing about Kev is he lives for playing football, he loves playing football, he’ll play every day, all day. We had a really good chat in the offseason about how he had to be a leader for the group and he had a great start to the season, so it’s a huge blow for everybody concerned.”
Molino is expected to undergo surgery in the coming weeks. Heath added the team will have to find a way to overcome the emotional disappointment of losing a player so important to what they do, in addition to a leader who is well-regarded in the locker room.
The Canadian national team have called up 10 MLS players for their squad to face New Zealand in an upcoming friendly. Selected are: Jay Chapman, Ashtone Morgan, Jonathan Osorio and Tosaint Ricketts (Toronto FC), Raheem Edwards, Michael Petrasso and Samuel Piette (Montreal Impact), Tesho Akindele (FC Dallas), Dejan Jakovic and Mark-Anthony Kaye (Los Angeles FC).
Meanwhile, Paraguay have called up Atlanta United playmaker Miguel Almiron for their squad to take on the United States in a tasty-looking international friendly.
SIGNINGS BETTER LATE THAN NEVER
Chicago Fire have announced the signing of defender Kevin Ellis and goalkeeper Patrick McLain. Both players are signed up to the end of the 2018 season, with a club option for Ellis in 2019, club options in 2019 and 2020 for McLain.
New York Red Bulls have signed 20-year-old defender Kyle Duncan to an MLS contract after a successful trial in preseason. Duncan has represented the US national team at youth level.
D.C. United have added a striker to their squad for the 2018 season, announcing the signing of defending USL MVP Dane Kelly via MLS’s Discovery Process. Kelly, 27, is the all-time leading scorer in the USL, where he played from 2011-17, scoring 56 goals in 138 USL appearances for Charleston Battery, Swope Park Rangers and Reno 1868 FC. Last season, while with the expansion Reno side, Kelly won the USL Golden Boot with 18 goals and was voted league MVP.
Thank you for reading the MLS Rundown, a twice-weekly column focused on news, rumours and transfers. If you would like to connect with the writer, please do so on twitter @CT_MLS