In the world of soccer, Kei Kamara’s remarkable longevity is a testament to his unmatched talent and determination. As he prepares to play in the MLS All-Star Game alongside his coach, Wayne Rooney, Kamara reflects on his incredible journey.
Despite being older than Rooney, Kamara continues to impress with his skills on the field. He shares a playful banter with Rooney, who never fails to challenge him. Kamara’s first All-Star experience was in 2015 when he played for Columbus Crew under manager Gregg Berhalter. Now, as a member of Chicago Fire FC, Kamara will soon celebrate his 39th birthday, while his teammate Brian Gutiérrez, who looks up to him, was just two years old when Kamara was drafted in 2006.
But Kamara shows no signs of slowing down. With a laugh, he confidently states that he still has plenty of fuel in the tank. He enjoys every minute on the field and is committed to putting in the work. Despite questions about his future, Kamara refuses to let age define him or limit his abilities. He feels good in his locker room and believes he is still making valuable contributions to the team.
Returning to Chicago after the All-Star Game, Kamara’s tank may be even fuller. Recently, he had an emotional reunion with his father, who visited the United States for the first time. His father had the opportunity to see Kamara play in person, thanks to Kamara’s selection as an All-Star via Commissioner’s Pick. The surprise announcement during a team meeting brought tears of joy to Kamara’s eyes. This special moment allowed his father to join him and his family on their trip to Washington D.C.
The All-Star experience reached new heights when President Joe Biden made an unexpected appearance during the team’s visit to the White House. Kamara and his father had the privilege of meeting the President, a moment that held great significance for them. Kamara sees these moments as accomplishments that go beyond the game itself. Having his father and three children by his side, Kamara believes that this All-Star selection holds a special place in his career.
Kamara’s journey is nothing short of a fairytale. Escaping Sierra Leone’s civil war as a teenage refugee, he found solace in the United States. Playing NCAA Division II soccer at Cal State Dominguez Hills, Kamara worked at the LA Galaxy’s stadium to support himself financially. His talent caught the attention of Sigi Schmid, who took a chance on him in the MLS SuperDraft. Since then, Kamara has played for an impressive ten MLS clubs, as well as English sides Norwich City and Middlesbrough, and even had a stint in Finland with HIFK.
The opportunity to meet the President alongside his father seems like a fitting addition to Kamara’s extraordinary story. From Chicago to the White House, Kamara reflects on the incredible moments that have shaped his life. While he has experienced both triumph and heartbreak, one thing remains elusive—a World Cup appearance with the Sierra Leone national team. Nevertheless, Kamara cherishes these unique experiences and acknowledges that they hold a special place in his career.