On Saturday, April 6, the Colorado Rapids played Orlando City in Orlando. Despite Colorado losing 4-3 and the game being considered one of the best of the 2019 season so far, there was another storyline to be broken.
After scoring the first goal of the game in the 9th minute, Kei Kamara became the 5th MLS All-Time leading goalscorer. Kamara now has 115 goals in Major League Soccer.
The Sierra Leone born striker started his MLS Career in 2006, when he was drafted 9th overall to the Columbus Crew. In his 13 year career, Kamara has become quite the journeyman. Since his start at Columbus, he bounced around to various MLS clubs, including stints at San Jose Earthquakes and Houston Dynamo, before making his big break at Sporting Kansas City under prolific manager Peter Vermes. His time at Sporting Kansas City earned him a loan move to Premier League side Norwich City FC, which then led to a permanent transfer to Middlesbrough in the Championship. After a season in England, Kamara returned back to the states to play once again for the Columbus Crew.
In his return, he scored a career high 22 goals for the Columbus Crew, helping the side reach the MLS Cup in 2015. Kei would once again be on the road as he joined the New England Revolution in 2016. He would go on to score 19 goals in 52 appearances for New England. After two seasons with the Revolution, Kamara once again moved clubs as his services were acquired by the Vancouver Whitecaps. During the 2018 season, he would go on to score 14 goals in 28 appearances for the Canadian club. In 2019, the Colorado Rapids traded for the striker, making the Rapids Kamara’s 7th MLS club that he’s played for. Since the start of the season, Kamara has netted 3 goals in 6 appearances.
Despite the journeyman status that Kamara has obtained, he’s always seemed to thrive in adversity. No matter what club he is at, he gives 110% every game and is beloved by all MLS fans. His lethal striking ability, incredible work rate and genuine personality makes him a highly sought after player for any club. Whenever he plays, he has a smile on his face, and his signature “heart shaped hands” celebration is hard not to love. Not only is he a fan favorite, but he’s acted as a mentor figure for several younger players in the league.
In an article published by the Denver Post, writer Jake Shapiro wrote: “In 2018 while with Vancouver, Kamara mentored Alphonso Davies who was bought by Bundesliga club Bayern Munich for a record transfer fee. The then 17-year-old attributed some of his acceleration to Kamara.”
Nowadays, it seems that no matter where Kamara ends up, he acts as a mentor for younger players. Shapiro also noted: “Rapids 17-year-old midfielder Cole Bassett is hoping for the same liaison. The Colorado kid has his eyes looking toward Europe and sees Kamara’s lessons as key to getting there.” Bassett looks to be a promising young player with a lot of potential, so it’s not surprising that he has someone like Kamara to look up to.
Overall, it’s always a pleasure to watch Kamara play, and I hope he’s not planning on retiring for at least 2 more seasons.
Luke Stergiou can be contacted at