Columbus Crew SC today announced that forward Kei Kamara was voted Major League Soccer Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for Week 23 of the 2015 MLS season. It is the second time this year that he has earned the honor after a two-goal performance versus Chicago in Week 12, and the third time overall in 2015 that a Black & Gold player has earned the national recognition.
Kamara, 30, earned the award following his brace at Dick's Sporting Goods Park against the Colorado Rapids on Saturday, August 8, fueling a 2-1 road victory for the Black & Gold. Kamara's two-goal effort was his fifth of the 2015 regular season and the 11th of his MLS career.
The Sierra Leone international registered both goals on Saturday in the second half, helping Crew SC overcome a one-goal deficit to win on the road. His first goal was a powerful left-footed strike in the 52nd minute, with his second coming 12 minutes later following a low cross by Hector Jimenez from the right side.
WATCH: Kamara's first goal on Saturday, August 8 at Colorado - http://bit.ly/080815kamara
The pair of goals gave Kamara 17 on the season, re-capturing the 2015 MLS regular-season goal-scoring lead from Toronto FC's Sebastian Giovinco, who has 16. Kamara's 17th goal also ties him with Brian McBride's 1996 campaign for third place in the Black & Gold's all-time single-season goal-scoring list. In the midst of his second stint with Crew SC, Kamara now has 69 career MLS tallies, a figure that ties him with Philadelphia's Conor Casey for fifth-most among all active League players.
WATCH: Kamara's second goal on Saturday, August 8 at Colorado - http://bit.ly/080815kamara2
Kamara is the first member of Crew SC to be named Player of the Week twice in a single season since Federico Higuain achieved that feat in Weeks 25 and 26 of the 2012 campaign, as well as the seventh all-time Black & Gold player to earn the honor at least twice in a single season, joining Brian McBride (1996), Brad Friedel (1996), Stern John (1998), Edson Buddle (2004), Guillermo Barros Schelotto (2007, 2008) and Higuain.
Additionally, after previously receiving the honor in Week 12, Kamara becomes the fifth player to win MLS Player of the Week multiple times this season, joining Giovinco, Robbie Keane, David Villa and Bradley Wright-Phillips. This is the third time a Columbus player has received the honor in 2015, as midfielder Ethan Finlay also won the award in Week Eight, making this the seventh Major League Soccer regular season in which Crew SC has had at least three Player of the Week award winners (1996, 1998, 1999, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2015).
Following an MLS bye weekend, Crew SC begins a two-match homestand with its first-ever meeting against New York City FC on Wednesday, August 19. The match kicks-off at 7:30 p.m. ET (Time Warner Cable SportsChannel / CD102.5 FM / La Mega 103.1 FM).
The MLS Player of the Week is selected each week of the regular season by a panel of journalists from the NASR. The group consists of members of print, television, radio and online media. More information and membership information can be found at http://www.soccerreporters.com.