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Kei Kamara Wins MLS Player of the Week

Kamara's brace on Friday earns him the individual league award.

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Crew SC forward Kei Kamara was voted Major League Soccer Plyaer of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters for Week 12 of the season.

The award comes after the striker scored two goals in Crew SC's 2-2 draw with the Chicago Fire on Friday night. Kamara opened the scoring in the eighth minute when he finished a low Ethan Finlay cross. In the 55th minute, the Sierra Leone international scored his second with a powerful header at the back post after a Federico Higuain corner was flicked on by Kevan George.

"I think it's nice that he scored two goals," Columbus head coach Gregg Berhalter said. "I've been saying all along that he's the perfect striker in our system and he's a guy that can be very successful, score a lot of goals. His movement last game I thought was pretty good."

After the two finishes, Kamara leads MLS in goals with nine, two ahead of the Seattle Sounders' Clint Dempsey and the San Jose Earthquakes' Chris Wondolowski. The forward now has 61 career MLS goals, 14 with the Black and Gold, and eighth all-time among active players.

The brace was his third of the season in 11 games and ninth of his career, as he's quickly become one of the most dangerous finishers since returning to the league from Middlesborough.

"I think he had the type of quality that we believed in," Berhalter said when asked if Kamara has exceeded expectations. "That we thought could do well, could perform. We knew within our system, he's going to get a lot of chances. We knew if he moved well, he'll get the ball in good spots and that's what's happened."

Berhalter and Crew SC hope to see Kamara keep up his form as the season continues. Kamara is averaging .82 goals per game so far on the season. If he can continue on that trajectory, the forward is set for just over 27 goals in 2015. The Crew SC record for goals in a year is 26, scored by Stern John in 1998.

"We're happy for him," Berhalter said. "I think we want to keep it going, keep him scoring."