If you’ve been watching MLS this year, you’ve definitely seen some of Sporting Kansas City’s Kei Kamara. The big winger has been all over the pitch – dominant in the air on set pieces, relentless when tracking back defensively and aggressive in front of goal.
In truth, he’s struggled with a finishing. But even a bad finisher will bag some goals if they get onto the end of as many chances as Kamara has. And it’s on the strength of exactly that trait that’s seen him climb to the top of the Castrol Index after Week 3.
Castrol Index Top 10 - Week 3
|1||Kei Kamara||Sporting KC||1318|
|4||Robbie Keane||LA Galaxy||1149|
|7||Nick Rimando||Salt Lake||1021|
|8||Aurélien Collin||Sporting KC||1011|
|9||C.J. Sapong||Sporting KC||960|
|10||Edson Buddle||LA Galaxy||949|
Kamara had the game-winner against FC Dallas on the weekend, giving him two goals and an assist in three games. But he has a whopping 24 shots – including a penalty that was saved by Kevin Hartman – 11 more than anyone else in the league.
His conversion rate may be a paltry 8.3 percent (Chris Wondolowski, the 2011 Castrol Index leader, is converting 25 percent of his chances thus far) but even Kamara’s misses generate chances for Sporting. Feed the man and he may not score, but someone will.
Kamara knocked Seattle’s David Estrada, the league’s leading scorer with four goals, from the top spot. Those two are joined by three more forwards in the top five: Chicago Fire’s Dominic Oduro, LA Galaxy’s Robbie Keane and the Columbus Crew’s Olman Vargas. Oduro and Vargas both bagged headers at the weekend, while Keane and the Galaxy were idle.
Another forward creeping up the list is the MLS Player of the Week, New York’s Thierry Henry. The French legend had two goals and an assist in a dominant display against Colorado, and now sits in 11th spot in the Index.
But Henry’s teammate Kenny Cooper actually made a bigger move, jumping a whopping 190 spots to No. 21 on the list thanks to his brace. He just edged out New England target man Saer Sene, who climbed 184 spots to 32nd overall on the strength of his game-winner against Portland.
They were both outstripped by Vargas, who basically climbed the entire chart, moving up 261 sports to No. 5 overall.
Toronto FC’s Miguel Aceval was the week’s biggest loser, dropping 131 spots to No. 216 after being victimized by Wondolowski’s double in the Reds’ 3-0 home loss. Aceval’s central defensive partner, Ty Harden, dropped nine spots to No. 275 overall. It’s safe to say they miss Torsten Frings.
Joe Cannon reclaimed his place as the Index’s top-ranked ‘keeper, pulling in at No. 6 overall, while RSL’s Nick Rimando actually moved up six spots to No. 7 despite gifting Casey Townsend the decider in Chivas’ 1-0 win at Rio Tinto.