Just how quick is Kei Kamara in the opposition's penalty box? Exactly how powerful are the Columbus Crew SC striker's thumping headers? How can you precisely measure the deceptive yet game-changing mobility that coaches hail as “rangy”?
ESPN's “Sport Science” program did some scientific analysis and calculation on the qualities that have made Kamara MLS's co-leading goalscorer this season (he finished the regular season tied with Sebastian Giovinco on 22 goals, with the Toronto FC star edging the Audi Golden Boot race via his 16 assists compared to Kamara's 8).
The results are fascinating.
It turns out that Kamara's ranginess is such that he can cover an area half the size of a basketball court in the mere 1.5 seconds that a cross is in the air – underlining the mammoth difficulty defenders have in tracking his movements in the box.
Reminiscent of a finely-tuned sportscar, the Sierra Leone-born hitman can go from zero to 15 miles per hour in just three strides, fueling his explosive attacks of the service provided by his teammates.
Terms like “elastic potential energy” and “points of contact” might give some fans sweaty flashbacks of daunting high-school science tests, but in this case they provide a useful dose of context on what makes Kamara such a special scorer.