It definitely didn't take Kei Kamara long to acclimate to his new surroundings. Following the New England Revolution's training session on Friday morning, the 31-year-old spoke candidly about his new teammates and what he anticipates his role being at Gillette Stadium.
Acquired via trade on Thursday from Columbus Crew SC, the striker is fresh off a 2015 season in which he notched 22 goals and arguably could have won Major League Soccer's MVP award. He urged that he's ready to put his history in the past, and that he's overjoyed to start anew.
"When I spoke with [head coach Jay Heaps] here, when he told me he's wanted me since my Kansas City days, that put on a smile on my face and said this wasn't something that just happened this week," Kamara said. "It's something that's been in the works for a long time. It made me feel good."
With five goals already to his name, Kamara has shown few signs of slowing down in 2016, and more headway could be created this weekend. The Revs, who host the Chicago Fire on Saturday night, will likely use Kamara in a starting role or off the bench.
Regardless of which situation manifests itself, Kamara repeatedly harped on the history of New England's players. Upon walking into the locker room for the first time, Kamara asked Chris Tierney, who is often regarded as one the best crossers in the league, how his left foot was feeling.
Kamara then highlighted how Kelyn Rowe "scores goals for fun," and the likes of Lee Nguyen, Diego Fagundez, Juan Agudelo, Charlie Davies and others constitute a lethal contingent.
"The current team right now, playing against them obviously was not something fun that we looked forward to with the teams I've played for before because they're a team that's competitive and ready to play," Kamara said. "Their attacking force of Lee, Diego, Agudelo, Charlie, I mean everyone. These guys are guys that can score goals, but are also guys that can play make."
Kamara's stop in New England marks the seventh different club of his career, and he said that brings about a certain element of leadership. Whether Kamara is deployed up top or out wide - both spots are just fine by him - he expects to inject an energy level that galvanizes fans and teammates alike.
"I'm not coming to the locker room as a shy guy or a new guy in the league or anything like that," Kamara said. "I've been around, so hopefully most of these guys can feed off the energy I have on and off the field. Building a team is not just on the field, there's a lot that goes on off the field, too."
While New England's 1-3-7 record reflects plenty of early-season struggles, Kamara's presence has the makings to be the last piece of the puzzle. The Revs are two seasons removed from an MLS Cup appearance, and the potential is arguably there to make waves throughout the Eastern Conference.
Kamara, who said he's not coming to New England to rest on his laurels, wants to bring the Revs to that next level.
"Trust me, I was a fan before in this league and I've watched this team be in the final over and over," Kamara said. "I think it's five times now being in the final and not being able to win something. I'm hoping we can push ourself again to go back up top."