Mohammed “Keka” Kamara of Tyler Junior College earned the United Soccer Coaches Association Player of the Year award, in addition to his All-American honor. For Kamara, the awards and recognition feel good, but he also recognizes his teammates’ roles in his personal success.
“It feels great to be recognized for all of my hard work and success,” Kamara said. “But I also had some great teammates who helped me a lot, I couldn’t do this without my teammates.”
Kamara’s personal success is impossible to overstate however, as the forward absolutely poured in the goals for the Apache. In just two seasons, the Monrovia, Liberia native has tallied a mind-boggling 70 goals, 20 of which were game-winners. For Kamara, scoring so many goals doesn’t get old, and he trusts in his teammates to set him up even though the opposing defense pulls out all the stops to defend him.
“It’s a lot of fun scoring goals I’m not going to lie,” Kamara said with a laugh. “But if the defense is really focused on me I know my teammates can help me.”
That attention has allowed him to also create opportunities for others as noted by his ten career assists.
Before the goals rained down in Tyler, Kamara spent the summer with the Atlanta Silverbacks of the NPSL. Kamara was extremely thankful for his time with the club.
“It was a really good experience for me,” Kamara said. “The coaching staff and my teammates all really helped me for the college season and to stay ready for the fall.”
The Silverbacks and Coach Phoday “FD” Dolleh were equally happy to have Kamara with them for the summer.
“Kamara brings a lot to our team and his presence and game speaks for himself,” Dolleh said. “The first game he came in in the second half of his first game and had a goal and an assist. I told everyone after the game, ‘watch out for this kid he’s special.’”
Dolleh is also convinced that Atlanta would have advanced even further in the U.S. Open Cup, saying, “If we had him play, we would have won the game. I’m serious, he’s that good.”
And Kamara showed that not only can he score in bunches, but he can help his team win. In 2017, Kamara helped Tyler to their second straight national championship while only losing one game. And for Kamara, that title tops even his biggest personal accomplishments.
“Winning the championship meant everything,” Kamara said. “Because who cares how many goals you score if they don’t help the team win? So that meant a lot to me.”
Kamara was given the Player of the Year Award in Philadelphia this past weekend, and though he is used to performing on the biggest stages, he couldn’t help but feel some nerves for the ceremony.
“I’m kind of nervous,” Kamara said. “Because it really hasn’t set in that I scored that many goals and I received those kind of awards, but I’m also very excited and honored.”
As far as his future, Kamara is constantly working towards his goal of becoming a professional, but is also working towards a degree.
“Soccer is of course my number one passion but it’s not going to be forever, and I want to make sure that I know things and learn things and am ready for what’s next.”
Given his goal-scoring prowess, however, it’s safe to say Kamara still has a long career ahead of him on the pitch.