It's been quite the week for Kei Kamara.
On Tuesday, rumors emerged that the forward could leave Columbus Crew SC. Two days later, the rumors became reality when Kamara was traded to the New England Revolution. The former MLS MVP candidate then arrived in Foxborough on Friday before starting against the Chicago Fire on Saturday.
It was a rollercoaster ride for Kamara, but one that Revolution players is glad happened.
"I want to thank Columbus, obviously," Lee Nguyen. "[Kamara's] a great addition. He is so smart, so athletic, and he wins everything. You are going to have to watch him. It adds another dynamic to our attack."
From the opening whistle, Kamara looked driven as he fought for every ball and terrorized the back line. His first bid on goal came in the 13th minute, but it didn't do much to bother goalkeeper Matt Lampson. Kamara would get another chance in the 31st minute, this time nearly beating Lampson with a nifty backheel.
In total, Kamara took a team-high six shots with four being on frame. Although he didn't end up on the scoresheet, his presence in the attacking third helped open up opportunities for others.
"I thought Lee had one of his better games because there was so much space there," head coach Jay Heaps explained. "Kei’s going to occupy two and sometimes three players and that right off the bat helps us."
Kamara's value to the Revs will rise in the coming weeks as he continues to adjust to his new surroundings. Despite only having one day of practice before his debut, Kamara combined well with the likes of Kelyn Rowe, Diego Fagundez, and Nguyen.
With more time, Kamara believes that the passes will be sharper and the scoring opportunities more plentiful. Kamara already noticed some natural chemistry between him and his new teammates, but knows that it will get better with each training session.
"To me, I really want to be able to connect with them on the field and [it] looks like we’re kind of understanding each other a bit faster than I expected," Kamara said. "It’s going to be a lot of work going into the training ground, but today was good."
With three points secured and his Revolution debut in the books, Kamara was looking forward to one thing on Saturday night, sleep. It was, after all, quite a week for Kamara.
"Again, I’m excited to be here, but even more excited right now," Kamara said. "I’m going to get back to my hotel room and go to bed knowing we got three points today."