KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Kei Kamara had a painful close to a spectacular day – but not so painful as to wipe off his trademark grin.
After the birth of a new nephew early Saturday afternoon, the Sporting Kansas City winger went out and headed in a brace of goals in Saturday night's 3-0 victory over New England – a win that vaulted Sporting back into the Eastern Conference lead.
Kamara, who has three goals in his last two league matches, didn't get to see the closing minutes. He had to be helped off the pitch in the 86th minute, after a hard foul from behind left him with a sprained left ankle – and the Revs' Andy Dorman walking off the pitch with a straight red card, reducing the Revs to nine men after Dimitry Imbongo's sending-off for his second yellow card in the 64th minute.
Kamara, who will undergo further evaluation on Sunday, said he expected to make a quick recovery and bore Dorman no ill will.
“You've got to expect that,” he said. “If you're doing well on the field, you've got to expect people to come get you. I mean, that's just part of it. That's a breakaway. Andy's an experienced guy. He's been playing this game for a while. He got a red card, but I don't think he tried to hurt me as much as he did. He's trying to break the play down, so I can't hold him to it. But at the same time, it's something that hurts.”
Kamara beat New England's Kevin Alston, who was making his first start since being diagnosed with leukemia in early April, on both of his goals – and both came on spot-perfect crosses from Soony Saad, who recorded the first multiple-assist match of his career.
“So easy,” Saad said. “Just loft it up there, and nine out of 10 times he's going to win it.”
It was Kamara's sixth multiple-goal game and second of the year, with tallies in the 27th and 50th minutes.
“I think he did really well to win the first one,” Saad said. “The first one, he just climbed above Kevin Alston, and the second one I kind of saw him through my peripheral. I saw the blue shirt making the run in, and I had a feeling it was Kei, so I just clipped it into the danger area, and he did excellent to get to it.”
After the first goal, Kamara raised his jersey to reveal a message written on his undershirt: “WELCOME BABY JEREMIAH, 8/10/2013.”
“It's been good luck,” he said. “Every time I write on my shirt, I tend to score. So I'm going to keep writing for random people.”
Steve Brisendine covers Sporting Kansas City for MLSsoccer.com.