Sporting KC's Kei Kamara finds his groove once more, but admits team is not where it wants to be
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Kei Kamara has his groove back, but he's not letting himself get too comfortable in it.
Sporting Kansas City's star winger, who returned in May from a loan to English side Norwich City FC, has four goals in his last four matches – including a brace, punctuated by his 80th-minute game winner, in Saturday's 3-2 victory over Columbus.
“I think his form is very good,” manager Peter Vermes said after Tuesday's training session. “His confidence is strong, and I think his movement off the ball has been excellent as of the last couple of games, so that's a big help to us and obviously to his game as well.”
But with ground to make up in the standings, and two matches in the next five days, Kamara can't stop to reflect on his run of form. Sporting, who host Vancouver on Wednesday (9 pm ET; Univision Deportes, TSN/RDS in Canada, MLS Live) and have an away date with Chicago on Sunday, are currently tied for third in the Eastern Conference standings.
“It feels good, but at the same time it's really about getting Sporting KC back where we used to be the past couple of years, which is top of the table,” Kamara told MLSsoccer.com on Tuesday. “For me, if we're there and I'm not even scoring goals I could feel good about it. I could come in every morning with my head up high and appreciate that we're doing well.”
When Kamara came back from his stint in the Premier League, he found a markedly different team from the one he left – especially up front, where new Argentine Designated Player Claudio Bieler has scored a team-high eight goals, including one against the Crew, from the center forward's spot.
The process of learning each other's styles is still a work in progress, Kamara said.
“I'm not saying we're there now,” he said. “We're still doing it, where I'm working to get used to him, see how he makes his runs and all that. That's part of the game. It takes a little longer to get used to it. He's given me a few good balls, so I've got to pay the favor back and see his runs.”
The growing understanding between the two showed in the play that led to Saturday's game-winner.
“I love the unselfishness with those guys, working with each other and trying to find each other,” Vermes said. “That's the sort of play we need to have from all the guys who are playing up top there.”
Steve Brisendine covers Sporting Kansas City for MLSsoccer.com.