FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – It’s a small sample size, but in the past three games Kei Kamara has found the goal-scoring form that has often eluded him during his time with the New England Revolution.
Kamara, who found the back of the net 27 times in 41 regular-season appearances with Columbus Crew SC, has scored 15 goals in the same amount of appearances with New England, at times leading to frustration for a player who has always been considered, above all else, a goal scorer.
The goals have been flowing for Kamara in recent weeks, however, as he’s struck four times in the past three games to match his scoring output through the entire first half of the season.
So, what’s changed? According to Kamara, it’s a matter of service.
“You put the ball in the box, I can score goals,” Kamara said after scoring the Revs’ lone goal in a 4-1 loss to the Chicago Fire last weekend. “That’s how all the goals have happened.”
Indeed, three of Kamara’s four goals in recent weeks have been from crosses that he met with first-time finishes inside the box. Most promising for the Revs is that all three of those crosses came from different players: Andrew Farrell, Kelyn Rowe and Lee Nguyen.
“I think he’s being relentless on his runs,” head coach Jay Heaps said of Kamara. “That’s a key, and the players are really trying to reward him when he makes those hard runs.”
Fellow forward Juan Agudelo pointed to Kamara’s defensive work rate as a potential key to his recent success, saying that instead of losing his energy while defending, Kamara seems to somehow build it up and then use it when the Revs break quickly with possession.
“I think he’s been hustling,” Agudelo said. “The anger that he gets from defending, I think he benefits from it on the offensive side, getting on the end of things and staying with the play.
“It’s definitely helping us. If we can put it all together, I think we’ll be a very dangerous team.”
New England did put it all together in a 3-0 win over the Philadelphia Union two weeks ago – when Kamara bagged his second brace in a Revolution uniform – but the veteran forward’s goal was in vain this past weekend in that 4-1 loss to Chicago.
Kamara is confident that his goal-scoring form will continue with the proper service, but he wants his goals to contribute to victories and a sustained playoff push.
“The goals are good, but it’s nice to score goals when it means something,” Kamara said. “I’ll take the goals if those goals are going to put me on a little bit of a roll; then definitely I can keep moving forward.
“(I’ve scored) a few goals in the past couple games, but hopefully I can get some more.”