Kei Kamara has now been with the New England Revolution for three games and reviews are positive despite the fact that he hasn't scored yet.
On Saturday, Kamara contributed his third straight 90-minute performance for his new club. The striker was active throughout the game, battling for every ball and trying to make things happen in the offensive third. The Seattle Sounders limited Kamara to just one shot, far less than he recorded against FC Dallas (four) and the Chicago Fire (six).
Even on a relatively quiet night, Kamara was still a nuisance for opposing defenders, which opened up opportunities for other attackers.
"[Teams are] marking him and since we’ve had him we’ve had two goals every game," Head coach Jay Heaps explained. "We’re creating a lot of opportunities around and whether it’s hand balls or balls across the six or guys are getting on the end of things, I think we’re continuing to press and push."
While it’s good to see Kamara in a more physical and creative role, he was brought to New England to score goals. Last year, the Sierra Leone international recorded 22 tallies, which put him even with Sebastian Giovinco for best in the league.
Before leaving Columbus Crew SC, Kamara had scored five goals in nine appearances, four of which came in his last four outings. Three games into his stay with the Revolution, Kamara hasn’t found the back of the net. Heaps is confident, however, that the goals are coming, especially as the team finds consistency in the starting XI.
"I think Kei is going to settle in," Heaps said. "I think once we get everyone on the same page and we continue to put the service in for him, he’s going to read the game and his runs will be a little more accurate and the service will be a little better."
Trading General Allocation Money, Targeted Allocation Money, their highest first-round pick in the 2017 SuperDraft, their highest second-round pick in the 2018 SuperDraft, and an international roster spot for the 2016 season, the Revolution gave up a lot to bring Kamara in as a Designated Player. So far, it’s been well worth it.
"He’s giving everything we want," Heaps said. "He’s working hard and he did a lot of pressuring tonight and he was key to our game plan in terms of that. I think he’s been unlucky. He’s been close."