Columbus Crew SC took an incredible gamble trading away Kei Kamara. After his 22 goal season in 2015 resulting in not only a MLS Cup appearance and nearly being crowned MVP, he left some very large shoes to fill in the heart of the Crew attack. To Gregg Berhalter and Anthony Precourt’s delight, their replacement for Kei, a player by the same last name, was able to replicate Kei’s goal scoring prowess and lead the Crew to victory.
The Total MLS Player of the Week for Week 13 is Columbus Crew SC forward, Ola Kamara.
Crew SC welcomed Real Salt Lake to MAPFRE Stadium on Saturday night in a match that was delayed nearly 90 minutes due to some less than ideal weather conditions. With RSL leading early, Ola Kamara equalized for the black and gold just 3 minutes later, finishing off a lovely run and low cross from Justin Meram.
With Columbus taking a 2-1 lead into the 2nd half, RSL was forced into pressing the home side, but after losing possession in the midfield, the Crew countered. A cross sent into the box by Waylon Francis found the head of Ola Kamara who headed home his 2nd of the night and 2nd of the season, in very Kei style I might add, to give the Crew a 3-1 lead. Federico Higuain’s leap into Ola’s arms in celebration told another tale.
Just 10 minutes later in the 74th minute, Ola completed his first career hat trick and the first hat trick for Crew SC since 2004. A corner kicked whipped in by Higuain found the head of a diving Kamara to give Columbus a 4-1 lead. Although RSL made Crew SC work to take all 3 points, Kamara’s hat trick performance was enough to seal the victory.
Our honourable mention goes to another hat trick hero, New York Red Bulls striker Bradley Wright-Phillips. The Red Bulls welcomed TFC to Red Bull Arena to exact some early season revenge on the Reds. BWP’s 27 minute hat trick was the fastest hat trick from the opening whistle in MLS history and gave RBNY a 3-0 victory at home.