A new Kamara is scoring goals for Columbus Crew SC -- and capturing the MLS Player of the Week award in the process.
Kei may be in New England these days, but Ola Kamara is off to a fast start for his new club, scoring his first three goals for Crew SC on Saturday to help lift the black-and-gold to a 4-3 win against Real Salt Lake at MAPFRE Stadium.
For his effort, Kamara was voted the MLS Player of the Week for Week 13, beating out Red Bulls striker and Week 12 POTW winner Bradley Wright-Phillips, who also had a hat-trick Saturday, in New York's 3-0 victory against Toronto FC.
Kamara, a Norwegian who was signed by Crew SC before the season, was making his third start for the club, replacing former striker Kei Kamara, who was traded to the New England Revolution following his controversial remarks following a 4-4 draw with Montreal Impact on May 7. Against Real Salt Lake Saturday, Ola scored his first MLS goal in the 17th minute to tie the score, 1-1, then added a second and third in the second half as Crew SC built a 4-1 lead to weather a furious rally by RSL.
As impressive as it was to score his first three goals for Crew SC, Kamara could have had more. A first-half header bounced just over the crossbar and two second-half shots were saved by Nick Rimando.
Kamara garnered 19 votes from the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) to edge Wright-Phillips, who received 14. Wright-Phillips' Red Bulls teammate Sacha Kljestan was third in the voting, with five.
Kamara and Crew SC are back in action on Wednesday as they travel to face the Philadelphia Union at Talen Energy Stadium (7 pm ET, MLS LIVE).