Player Details


Kei Kamara


KYE kuh-MAR-uh


6' 3"


190 lbs

Date of Birth

9.1.1984 (39)


Kenema, Sierra Leone


Career Summary



2016 (Columbus): Has made eight appearances (eight starts) for Crew SC at forward, scoring three goals ... started in the season opener at Portland (March 6) ... again started in the Opening Match at MAPFRE Stadium vs. Philadelphia (March 12), where he scored his first goal of the season, becoming the second active player at the time to hit 75 career goals ... continued in the starting lineup for every match since, including against New York City FC (April 16), where he scored his second goal of the campaign ... scored his third goal of the season, a penalty, in a 1-0 win against Houston (April 23) ... continued in the starting lineup at Seattle (April 30).

2015 (Columbus): Kamara made 32 appearances (31 starts) at forward in the first season of his second stint with Columbus, scoring 22 goals and adding eight assists. He was named Crew SC's Barbasol Most Valuable Player as well as MLS Best XI and the MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year, presented by Advocare. He made his season debut with a start at forward against Houston (March 7). The forward notched his first goal of the season in the home opener against Toronto FC (March 14) and recorded his first brace for Columbus at Vancouver (April 8). He scored one goal and added one assist as part of a win over Orlando (April 18), repeating the one-goal, one-assist performance as part of a 4-1 win over Philadelphia (April 25). He registered his second brace of the season vs. Seattle (May 9), tying for the League lead in goals (seven) following the match. He extended his League-lead in goals with a brace against Chicago (May 22), earning MLS Player of the Week honors following the contest. Kamara started the club’s international friendly vs. Valencia CF (May 27). He scored his 10th goal of the season at Orlando (May 30), setting the all-time club record for fastest player to reach double figures in goals (12 appearances). He was named to the AT&T MLS All-Star Game active roster for the first time in his career, playing 45 minutes in the 2015 AT&T MLS All-Star Game (July 29). He registered his fifth brace of the season at Colorado (August 8)and totaled one goal and one assist against New York City FC (August 19). Kamara earned a call-up by Sierra Leone ahead of a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against the Ivory Coast, missing Crew SC’s match against FC Dallas (September 6) while with the National Team. He recorded his sixth brace of the season by scoring two goals at Philadelphia (September 12), becoming the second player in club history to ever reach 20 goals in a single season. He scored his 21st goal and added his eighth assist of the season in a win at D.C. United (September 19), followed by goal number 22 at home vs. Portland (September 26). In the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs, Kamara started all five games for Crew SC, leading the League in postseason goals (four), including the series winning goal against both Montreal and New York as well as a goal in the 2015 MLS Cup. Kamara did not make an appearance at the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

2014 (Columbus): Columbus signed Kamara via the Major League Soccer allocation ranking. Kamara has agreed to terms with the Black & Gold and was formally added to the club’s roster on January 1, 2015, pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate.

2014 (Middlesbrough): The striker agreed to terminate his contract with Middlesbrough on August 28, 2014. He did not make any appearances for Boro on the new season, which began on August 8, 2014.

2013-2014 (Middlesbrough): Kamara made his Middlesbrough and Championship debut on September 14, 2013 against Ipswich Town. All-told, he made 25 appearances (16 starts) for Boro on the season. The Sierra Leone native scored his first Championship goal on October 5, 2013 against Yeovil Town, his first of four during the year. He helped Boro to a mid-table 12th place finish in the 2013-2014 Football League Championship standings.

2013 (Sporting Kansas City/Norwich City): Prior to the 2013 MLS season, Kamara was signed on loan by Barclays Premier League side Norwich City. He made 11 appearances for the Canaries, scoring his first Premier League goal in his second-ever match in that league, on February 23, 2013 versus Everton. The forward returned to Sporting KC following the expiration of his loan and made his 2013 MLS debut on May 8 of that year. On the season, he made 15 appearances for Sporting (10 starts), scoring seven goals and assisting on two others. He also made one Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup appearance on the year, scoring a goal in a 2-0 win over the Des Moines Menace. He was sold to Middlesbrough of England's second division on September 2, 2013.

2012 (Sporting Kansas City): Kamara set a career-high in appearances (33), starts (32), goals (11) and assists (8) with Sporting KC. He opened the season by scoring in four of his first seven matches played, again helping Sporting on to the top seed in the Eastern Conference headed into the 2012 MLS Cup Playoffs. He made two additional MLS Cup Playoff appearances, tying his career-high with five shots, again versus Houston (November 7, 2012). He appeared twice in the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, helping Sporting capture the title. The forward scored from the spot in the 83rd minute of the Final against Seattle Sounders FC and then also converted a penalty in the shootout necessary to decide the champion.

2011 (Sporting Kansas City): Kamara set a new career-best with 30 MLS appearances in 2011. He totaled two multi-goal performances on the season en route to a nine-goal campaign. The Sierra Leone native helped Sporting KC on to a 13-9-12 record and the top seed in the Eastern Conference headed into the 2011 MLS Cup Playoffs. In those Playoffs, he appeared in three matches, notching a Playoff career-best five shots on November 6, 2011 versus Houston. He also appeared in two Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup matches for Sporting, scoring one goal on June 28, 2011 against Chicago Fire Premier in the Third Round.

2010 (Wizards): The forward played the full season for Kansas City, notching his first career 10-goal campaign. He added six assists, also setting a then career-high. Kamara opened the year with his second career two-match goal-scoring streak by tallying in the season opener on March 27, 2010 (versus D.C. United) and again on April 10, 2010 (versus Colorado). He posted his second career two-goal performance on May 15, 2010 versus Chicago, part of another two-match goal-scoring streak.

2009 (Dynamo/Wizards): Kamara established a then career-best for games started with 24 starts for Houston and Kansas City combined (appeared in 28 matches total). The forward also set a career-best for goals scored in a season, with six. He registered his first two-game goal-scoring streak by tallying in consecutive clashes on May 23, 2009 (versus San Jose) and May 30, 2009 (versus Toronto FC). He also made one appearance for Houston in the 2009-2010 CONCACAF Champions League on August 26, 2009 by scoring a goal against Arabe Unido. Near the end of the campaign, he was traded to the Kansas City Wizards on September 15, 2009 in exchange for forward Abe Thompson and allocation money. He appeared in six matches for the Wizards (four starts), scoring a goal in his final outing of the season on October 24, 2009 versus D.C. United.

2008 (Earthquakes/Dynamo): Kamara was traded to the San Jose Earthquakes prior to the season in exchange for midfielder Brian Carroll. He played in 12 matches for San Jose (11 starts), adding two more goals to his MLS ledger and recording his first tally for the Earthquakes on April 19, 2008 at Colorado. On July 24, 2008, Kamara was traded from San Jose to Houston for a draft pick and allocation money. He played in 10 matches for Houston (six starts), scoring twice and adding two helpers to bring his season total to four goals and two assists. He notched his first career multi-goal game with a brace in his third-ever match for Houston, on August 20, 2008 versus. Chivas USA. The Sierra Leone native made his first-ever MLS Cup Playoff appearances with Houston, scoring an equalizing goal off the bench in the 85th minute at New York on November 1, 2008. He also appeared in seven matches during the 2008-2009 CONCACAF Champions League, scoring two goals in a Group Stage match against Universidad Nacional on September 30, 2008.

2007 (Columbus): Kamara appeared in 17 matches for the Black & Gold in his sophomore season, making four starts and scoring two goals on the year.

2006 (Columbus): Kamara made his professional debut in MLS for the Black & Gold after being chosen by Columbus ninth overall at the 2006 MLS SuperDraft. The forward appeared in 19 matches (nine starts), scoring his first professional goal in his first-ever MLS game on April 1, 2006 at Kansas City. In total, he contributed three goals over his rookie campaign.


As of September 6, 2015

Kamara has made 24 appearances for the Sierra Leone National Team, scoring four goals and recently serving as captain. His debut for Sierra Leone came during 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualification on June 14, 2008 versus South Africa. He scored his first goals for his country with a brace during 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualification against Sao Tome and Principe on June 16, 2012. He appeared in 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification fixtures, scoring another goal for Sierra Leone on June 8, 2013 against Tunisia. His fourth Sierra Leone goal came on September 6, 2014 against the Ivory Coast in qualification for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

In 2015, Kamara earned a call-up ahead of Sierra Leone's 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualification match against the Ivory Coast, earning his 24th cap in a 0-0 draw against the 2015 AFCON champions.


Kamara was acquired via the Major League Soccer allocation ranking. Kamara has agreed to terms with Columbus and will be formally added to the club’s roster on January 1, 2015, pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate.

Name: Kei Kamara
Pronunciation: Kye Kuh-MAR-uh
Position: Forward
Height: 6’3"
Weight: 185
Born: September 1, 1984 in Kenema, Sierra Leone
Hometown: Kenema, Sierra Leone
Citizenship: Sierra Leone
Acquired: Signed via allocation ranking on October 7, 2014. He was formally added to the club’s roster on January 1, 2015 pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate.
Previous Experience: Middlesbrough FC (2013-2014), Norwich City (2013), Sporting Kansas City (2009-2013), Houston Dynamo (2008-2009), San Jose Earthquakes (2008), Columbus Crew (2006-2007)


Kamara is married to his wife, Kristin. The couple has a dog, Chelsea. His favorite movie is Blood Diamond because it is based in his native Sierra Leone. He likes an eclectic mix of music but says he likes songs that can either make him dance or contain compelling lyrics, listing Sam Smith and various African artists as his favorites at the moment. On his days off he likes to take his dog for a walk, ride his four-wheeler skates around town or play volleyball. His favorite team growing up was his local football club based in his hometown of Kenema, the Kamboi Eagles, because his brothers played on it. The player he idolized as a child was former Dutch international Patrick Kluivert. His favorite soccer memory is scoring a goal in his first professional goal in his first-ever game for the Black & Gold, narrowly edging out scoring his first goal in the Premier League and scoring in/winning the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final with Sporting Kansas City. If he weren't a soccer player, he would like to be a backup dancer for a music superstar such as Britney Spears.