It was tough not to feel sympathetic for Kei Kamara as the Portland Timbers celebrated their first ever MLS Cup championship at MAPFRE Stadium on Sunday night.
The Columbus Crew star man’s goal wasn’t enough to complete a comeback as Portland won the 2015 MLS Cup Final by a 2-1 scoreline in Ohio, becoming the first team to lift the trophy on the road since the home advantage rule was introduced.
The Crew players quickly left the field at the final whistle, allowing Portland to celebrate their success, but one man remained as Kamara watched the Timbers’ celebrations for 15 minutes from a distance.
“I wanted to sit out there. I wanted to see what it feels like to lift that trophy,” he said afterwards.
“That’s why I was sitting out there. Those are the things that keep you going, working harder and harder.
“I’ve been there before – not to the final, but in games you really want to win. To me, it’s not just about getting up and walking away. It’s about seeing the other guys and how they feel, what that celebration is like. Because you want to feel that. That’s the feeling I was just soaking in.”Embed from Getty Images
Kamara enjoyed a stunning first season with the Crew as he netted a total of 26 goals in 37 appearances. Although being left disappointed with the way the season ended on Sunday, the 31-year-old attacker praised the support he’s received from Columbus fans since arriving.
“They’ve shown me love from day one, from the first tweet I did saying ‘New Crew, I’m coming to this team.
“They’ve always shown me love. The fans have been amazing all year, and I appreciate them.”