FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Saturday night won’t be just another game for Kei Kamara.
For the first time since the trade that brought him to the New England Revolution back in mid-May, Kamara will face his former Columbus Crew SC teammates; the ones he helped guide to an MLS Cup appearance last year while scoring a league-leading 22 goals.
Facing a former club isn’t an entirely new concept to Kamara – he’s spent time with five different MLS teams in his career – but he admits that there’s always a bit of an extra buzz when it comes to squaring off against an old team, particularly with the trade so fresh in his memory.
“It’ll be there,” Kamara said when asked whether he’s motivated to face Columbus. “I’ve just got to keep my emotions intact. I have to be ready for it. But right now, it’s about the group. It’s about really getting three points and whatever it’s going to take.”
Kamara is hoping that his intimate knowledge of the Columbus roster can help the Revolution on Saturday night, as they look to bounce back from the midweek loss to New York City FC that prevented them from climbing into the playoff places in the Eastern Conference.
“Everything that I learned while I was there, for the whole time I was there, and feeding that information out to the boys in the locker room to make sure that we’re ready,” Kamara said. “(We need to) make sure that we get all points from this game.”
Knowledge is a two-way street, though, and Kamara’s well aware that as well as he knows the Crew SC defenders, they know him, as well, from countless training sessions and games.
“It’s tough because most of these guys know me really well, and then I know them really well,” Kamara said. “So it becomes really tricky.”
Kamara pointed to the Revolution’s history of success against Columbus – the Revs are 7-4-2 against Crew SC under Jay Heaps, including a pair of playoff wins – and the fact that New England will be the home team on Saturday night when outlining the importance of this contest.
But as important as this weekend’s match is for the Revolution, it’s equally as significant for Kamara, who admits he would love to find the back of the net to help his new team to a much needed victory.
“I’m not the only one looking forward to [playing against Columbus]; there are a lot of people looking forward to playing against Columbus,” Kamara said. “Definitely as a forward I want to score a goal, and at the same time, I want to win.
“I’m going to do everything I can when my number is called … I’ll be ready to play.”