Crew View: Get To Know Ola Kamara

Chris DeVille

Crew SC seized first place in the Eastern Conference last Saturday with an entertaining 3-2 home victory over Portland. Thank Ola Kamara for much of that entertainment and, in a sense, all of those goals.

Kamara didn't log another hat trick — a feat he achieved last May in only his third start for Columbus — but he converted an insane left-footed volley many players wouldn't have even attempted, and he caused the goalmouth chaos that led to his team's other two scores. In short, the 27-year-old Norwegian was creating exactly the kind of trouble a striker is supposed to create.

When Columbus traded team MVP Kei Kamara (no relation) last spring, he seemed to leave an unfillable void behind. Instead, Ola slid into that role with ease. He's a different kind of forward, but he scores with the same freakish regularity. Kamara says he's only focused on winning the MLS Cup, but if he keeps scoring at this rate — three goals in four matches so far — he may end up with a Golden Boot, too.

Below, get to know one of the most exciting athletes in Columbus.

What was it like growing up in Oslo?

Oslo is a cool place. I played a lot of soccer. I was downhill skiing a lot when I was younger. I played a lot of something called bandy as well. It's a little bit like hockey, but it's 11 players and a bigger field. It's like soccer with skates.

What do you like to do in your downtime nowadays?

I have a baby, so last year was very much time spent with the family. We came here when he was six weeks [old], so we were just in that baby bubble. This year I want to explore Columbus a lot, so maybe the readers can tip me on what's fun to do.

What's your favorite restaurant in Columbus?

Hot Chicken Takeover. That's my spot. I love it.

What music have you been enjoying lately?

Drake and J. Cole.

You've played both striker and winger. Is it safe to say you're more comfortable as a striker right now?

I've never been a winger, but I played a lot of winger. When you're younger, the striker position is kind of hard to get as your own, so your coaches just move you around. But I've always been a striker, and I always will be.