MLS Offseason Notebook: Kamara seeks new contract, more

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by RYAN BRISTER

Kamara reportedly in contract dispute: Kei Kamara was unquestionably the most important piece of Columbus’ success last season, but he was only the third-highest paid player on the team. That fact, according to a report by Steven Goff, has created a rift between the striker and the Crew. Kamara has not yet joined the team for its training camp in Florida as a result. Kamara had 22 goals in 2015, and finished second in MVP voting to Sebastian Giovinco. Kamara, 31, suggested last month that he would have retired had the Crew won MLS Cup.

Dallas signs Carlos Gruezo as young DP: FC Dallas has signed Ecuadorian midfielder Carlos Guezo to a young designated player contract. Gruezo comes to MLS as a transfer from VFB Stuttgart, where he made 18 appearances over the past year and a half. He scored one goal for the club, becoming the first Ecuadorian to score in the Bundesliga. The 20-year-old already has 10 senior-level caps for Ecuador, including two at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Atlanta United signs first ever player: Atlanta United’s first player is Greek-American goalkeeper Alexander Tambakis. He was most recently playing for Venlo, in the second tier of Dutch soccer, on loan from Greek powerhouse Panathinaikos. Tambakis will spend 2016 with Atlanta’s USL affiliate, the Charleston Battery.

Chicago unveils new home jersey: The Chicago Fire will have a very red home jersey for 2016. The traditional horizontal white stripe has returned to the front of jersey, after a couple years in which that was missing. The jersey features the Adidas stripes on the sides of the torso, rather than along the shoulders. The Fire will have a new shirt sponsor in the form of Valspar, replacing Quaker Oats.