Kei Kamara vs. Orlando City SC

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The symmetry of Kei Kamara’s first MLS hat trick was almost poetic.


Kamara celebrated his 33rd birthday on Friday, and then bagged three goals in the New England Revolution’s critical 4-0 win over Orlando City SC at Gillette Stadium on Saturday night.


In Kamara’s mind, the trio of threes was no coincidence.


“I’m 33. I think it just came at the right time,” Kamara said with a smile as he held his young daughter Kierin in his arms during his postgame press conference. “There have to be a few threes in your age before you can get that.”


Kamara’s big night began in the 26th minute when he volleyed home Scott Caldwell’s right-wing cross, and continued with a pair of calm finishes in the 75th and 89th minutes to complete his hat trick and take hold of the Revolution scoring lead with 11 goals.


While it wasn’t until the late stages that the Revs poured it on, Kamara had a sense of the occasion well before the opening whistle.


“It was one of those days I just felt good from warmups,” Kamara said. “Every ball was going into the back of the net. I was like, ‘Wow, this just feels like a special day today.’”


It was a special day for several Revolution players. Lee Nguyen returned from injury to match an MLS record with four assists, tying him for the league lead with 14 on the season. Teal Bunbury capped the scoring with his sixth goal in the last eight games. Krisztian Nemeth marked his brief Revolution debut with an assist. And Cody Cropper kept his third straight clean sheet at Gillette Stadium.


But it was Kamara who stole the headlines with his three-goal performance, earning a deserved ovation from the Foxborough faithful when he was subbed off in stoppage time.


“I just had a feeling [the substitution] was coming,” Kamara said. “It’s a great honor, seriously. I’m not going to lie. I’ve played this game for a while, and to really be in the moment today, to get a hat trick, score those goals, it’s really special.


“It’s a great team win, but I’m going to say, it’s one of those days I’ll never forget for the rest of my life.”