Wilfried Nancy, technical director, told reporters, Thursday afternoon, that Key Camara had suffered a head injury and was undergoing tests to determine if he had a concussion. We know now. It was a delicious joke. More seriously, if this information is correct, Nancy and her players may still be looking for their first MLS victory in 2022.
Defense only forward to set foot in the grass on TQL Stadium for CF Montreal (1-3-1) on Saturday afternoon – with Romell Quioto (COVID-19 protocol), Bjorn Johnson (foot) and Mason Toei (close) absent – Camara played a role. Key to the 4-3 win over FC Cincinnati.
In addition to scoring the 131st goal of his MLS career – his first in a Montreal outfit – Camara also set up two more goals, including Joaquin Torres’ goal, in the 67th minute, which ultimately made the difference.
About six weeks after arriving in Montreal, it appears Camara has found directions in her new environment. Nancy says she sees him on the floor.
“It takes time for all the players to adapt, especially the gameplay. (…) At the same time, as I said to the players, Rommel, when he plays, he has very clear idiosyncrasies. Kei, when he plays, he has idiosyncrasies. Players have to adapt to that. And Kei has to adapt to the way we play as well. Today (Saturday) he was better at using the ball at times. He helped us also with his physical presence, let’s say. Every player has a specific role and today Kee was one of the players who helped the team.”
Adapting Kamara to the team’s playing style may not be on point yet is one thing. But it’s a process that should come easy, as the 37-year-old Sierra Leonean is as happy as a fish in the water in his CF Montreal outfit.
We were due to hear from him on the Saturday after the match, when he appeared in the video conference and immediately derided representatives of the media. For about thirty seconds, Camara showed his state of mind, before the journalists even asked him a single question!
“You look very comfortable at home. Nobody drinks wine or water? Where did you hide that? What’s going on?” he said, smiling.
“I’m fine, I’m fine. I’m doing great,” he then replied when the video conference host asked him how he was doing.
“It’s great to be part of this team and to get a victory on the road. It was a tough last time seeing the team on the road against Atlanta. We couldn’t snatch the victory. It’s part of the learning and this day (Saturday) is also part of the learning. That’s a result. Very positive.”
Kamara’s daily life in her new town looks positive. Which, after all, doesn’t really seem surprising.
“I have my apartment, I have a car, and I’ve started cooking for myself. That’s fine. For me, it’s a familiar environment. Like I said before, I’ve been to Montreal many times before, and I’ve fallen in love with the city,” he continued, before focusing on his teammates.
“And the locker room. It’s a very uniform dressing room, where it’s nice to be. Being there and being the leader is something I cherish and adore. I hope I can continue to contribute with these people.”
If there is a player in the Montreal club who wants this wish to come true, it is Djurghi Mihajlovic.
Scoring two goals on Saturday, one of them after a pass from Kamara, Mihajlovic was absolutely free when asked to explain the veteran’s contribution.
“The first thing I have to say about Kei is the character he brings into the dressing room. I think it’s important that we can add that kind of player, a veteran, in this youth locker room. (…) He’s that presence. The footballer is the person in the locker room.”
“The other thing, as with his passes on my goal, is his calmness with the ball. He’s probably been in that position hundreds and thousands of times. He’s able to control the ball and lift his head and limit my movements behind the defender. He’s not like Rommel, not like Mason, not like Sanusi (Ibrahim). He is a physically imposing target. Perhaps he is the most threatening with his head. He brings different qualities, no doubt.”
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