Have we met before? The Crew's Kei Kamara is back for round two in Columbus.
Then and now:Kamara as a Crew rookie in 2006 (left) and battling once again for the Crew on March 28, 2015, against the New York Red Bulls. (Dispatch file photos)
Soccer veteran Kei Kamara is back in Columbus, where he played during the 2006-2007 season. In the interim, he played with other MLS teams and in Europe, and he's been a member of the Sierra Leonean national team since 2008. Along with fellow players from West African countries affected by Ebola, Kamara has filmed messages in support of health-care workers. Kamara has a big personality that's well-suited to the fan-focused culture in Columbus. Tall, thin and wiry, he has a broad and generous smile and a natural knack for the interaction of social media (follow him on Twitter at@keikamara).
Columbus has changed a lot since you last lived here. What are some of your favorite changes and new places?
At the moment, I have to say MAPFRE Stadium. They've added some character to the stadium, being the first soccer-specific stadium, now there's a stage, for example-the stadium has some character now.
Which Columbus grocery stores and restaurants do you seek out when you want a taste of home?
I like to go to my sister's house for that taste of home. And there's an African restaurant around Tamarack Circle called Drelyse.
Sierra Leone has been particularly hard-hit by Ebola. How did you get involved in public health announcements about the disease?
I wasapproached bythe League, because they were approached by someone else to ask what players they could use for something like that. Sierra Leone is close to my heart, so that's how I was involved and I'm still involved in promoting it.
Another magazine recently named Crew SC fans the fifth best in MLS. How do they compare with other teams in your experience?
We're gaining more fans from the time when I was first around. We're gaining more fans every year and every game to myexperience.
What are some of your favorite cross-training or other fitness activities?
Indoor soccer and roller skating.
You are a self-declared Chipotle addict. What's your order?
A burrito: chicken, black beans, fajita, very hot sauce and sour cream.
You're quite the ham on Twitter and in photos. How did you get to be so funny?
I didn't know I was that funny! (laughs) I didn't know I was that funny. I'm just enjoying myself.
>>Read our Guide to the Crew's 2015 Season!