Ola Williams Kamara (born 15 October 1989) is a Norwegian professional footballer who plays for D.C. United in MLS. He plays as a striker, and has also played for Stabæk, Hønefoss, Strømsgodset, Molde, Austria Wien, West Ham United, TSV 1860 München, Columbus Crew SC, LA Galaxy and Shenzhen. Kamara’s father is from Sierra Leone and his mother is Norwegian. He has represented Norway at the youth and senior international levels.
Kamara at a fan event for Columbus in 2017
|Full name||Ola Williams Kamara|
|Date of birth||15 October 1989|
|Place of birth||Oslo, Norway|
|Height||1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|2007||→ Hønefoss (loan)||8||(0)|
|2013||→ TSV 1860 München (loan)||10||(0)|
|2013||→ TSV 1860 München II (loan)||5||(2)|
|2013||→ Strømsgodset (loan)||14||(12)|
|2015||→ Molde (loan)||29||(14)|
|2016–2017||Columbus Crew SC||59||(34)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 8 October 2019|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 11 June 2019
His father moved from Sierra Leone to Norway as a refugee. Kamara was born and raised in Oslo. When Kamara was one year old, his parents chose to seek help in raising him, and Kamara spent every second weekend, holidays and birthdays with a foster care family. He played for Frigg during his youth, and made his debut for the first-team in the Second Division at the age of 15. Kamara moved to Stabæk at the age of 16, and soon became an integral part team of Stabæk's youth team. He scored the match-winning goal in the final against Viking when Stabæk won the Norwegian Youth Cup in 2008.
Kamara made his debut for Stabæk in Tippeligaen at the age of 16, when he replaced Somen Tchoyi as a substitute in the 2–2 draw against Lillestrøm on 1 October 2006. The next season, he joined the First Division side Hønefoss on a short-term loan, as a replacement for the injured Lars Lafton and Kenneth Di Vita Jensen. Kamara played three matches for Stabæk in 2008, enough to earn him a winners-medal, when the team won Tippeligaen. Kamara's contract expired after the 2008 season, and he wanted to find a new club, even though Stabæk wanted to renew his contract, because he found it too hard to compete with Daniel Nannskog and Veigar Páll Gunnarsson for playing time. After unsuccessful trials with Reggina and Sandefjord, Kamara had gotten an offer from the 2. Divisjon side Bærum but on the last day of the transfer window ahead of the 2009 season, he signed a two-year contract with the Tippeligaen side Strømsgodset. As his wage was only 135,000 kr per year, Kamara had to move back home to his mother.
Kamara was mostly back-up for Marcus Pedersen in his first season with Strømsgodset. After Pedersen moved to Netherlands in August 2010, Kamara started to play regularly alongside Jo Inge Berget. Kamara scored seven goal in 25 matches in the 2010 season, and became joint top goalscorer for Strømsgodset alongside Pedersen. Kamara also scored goals in the semifinal and the final when Strømsgodset won the 2010 Norwegian Football Cup. Kamara signed a new two-year contract with Strømsgodset in December 2010, lasting till the end of the 2012 season.
Kamara continued to score goals in the beginning of the 2011 season, and when he scored against Odd Grenland on 10 April 2011 he had scored in six home-matches in a row. He became Strømsgodset's top goalscorer in the 2011 season, with 10 goals. Strømsgodset signed Péter Kovács and Adama Diomande ahead of the 2012 season, and Kamara was expected to play less than he had done the last two seasons, but was however playing regularly on the left wing during the season and was a great contributor to the team. After only scoring one goal in the first half of the season, Kamara scored three goals on Lerkendal Stadion in the 3–3 draw against Rosenborg on 24 June 2012. Kamara scored another hat-trick one week later, when Hønefoss was beaten 5–0. In the 5–0 victory against Fredrikstad on 27 July 2012, Kamara scored one and assisted three other goals. Kamara also scored the match-winning goal against Rosenborg on 5 November 2012, which eliminated Rosenborg title-chances. At the end of the season, Strømsgodset finished second behind Molde, and won their first league-medals since 1997.
On 20 January 2013, Kamara signed for SV Ried, but was immediately loaned out to TSV 1860 München on a six-month contract until the end of the season 2012–13 season with an option to extend the deal to two years. After the season, he went on loan to Strømsgodset.
The loan spell at his old club Strømsgodset was very successful. He scored 12 goals in 14 matches, including a hat-trick in his first match, and thus played a vital role in the team that went on to win the league.
After a failed trial at West Ham United Kamara signed for Austria Wien in January 2014 but scored only 2 goals in 23 matches.
On 28 January 2015, Molde FK announced that they had signed Kamara on loan for the 2015 season, with an option to buy the striker.
On 4 August 2015 he scored a goal in 3-3 draw with Dinamo Zagreb in the second match of Third Qualifying Round UEFA Champions League.
Columbus Crew SC
Kamara made his club debut 9 April 2016 in a 2-0 loss to Montreal Impact, replacing Kei Kamara in the 70th minute. He started his time with Crew SC as the backup to Kei Kamara, but jumped into the starting role when Kei was traded to the New England Revolution. His first goal for the Crew was against Real Salt Lake on 28 May, adding two more to complete the hat trick. Ola ended his first season outside Europe with 16 goals and 2 assists in 25 MLS appearances.
After an unsuccessful spell in China where he only made five appearances for Shenzhen, Kamara returned to Major League Soccer, joining D.C. United for a transfer fee of $2.5 million. D.C. United also sent $200,000 of General Allocation Money to Colorado Rapids in exchange for the No.1 slot in the 2019 Allocation Ranking, allowing them to select Kamara. He appeared the first time for DC United after being subbed on for Wayne Rooney in the 74th minute of the Vancouver Whitecaps game on August 17, 2019 In his first start for DC, Kamara scored his first DC goal in the 55th minute against the New York Red Bulls on August 21, 2019. In only his third start for DC United, he scored two goals against the Montreal Impact on August 31, 2019. The game ended as a 3-0 DC win. During the 2019 season, Kamara suffered a hamstring injury. He then returned from injury coming on in the 69th minute in a crucial game against FC Cincinnati on October 6, 2019. The crucial game ended 0-0, crushing DC's hopes of hosting a round one MLS playoff game.
Kamara was selected for regional teams (Norwegian: Kretslag) in Oslo at the age of 15, and later represented Norway at under-16 and under-17 level. He has also represented the Norway under-23 national football team. Kamara made his debut for the Norwegian national team when he replaced Daniel Braaten in the 61st minute of the World Cup qualifier against Slovenia on 11 October 2013. In the match against Iceland four days later, Kamara made his starting-debut on his 24th birthday and played a total of 55 minutes.
|SV Ried||2012–13||Austrian Bundesliga||0||0||0||0||–||–||0||0|
|1860 Munich (loan)||2012–13||2. Bundesliga||10||0||0||0||–||–||10||0|
|1860 Munich II (loan)||2012–13||Regionalliga Bayern||5||2||–||–||0||0||5||2|
|Austria Wien||2013–14||Austrian Bundesliga||12||1||0||0||0||0||–||12||1|
|Columbus Crew SC||2016||MLS||25||16||1||0||–||–||26||16|
|Shenzhen||2019||Chinese Super League||5||0||1||0||–||–||6||0|
|Norway national team|
|1.||15 January 2014||Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates||1–1||2–1||Friendly|
|2.||23 March 2018||Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo, Norway||1–1||4–1|
|5.||19 November 2018||GSP Stadium, Nicosia, Cyprus||1–0||2–0||2018–19 UEFA Nations League C|
|7.||26 March 2019||Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo, Norway||3–3||3–3||UEFA Euro 2020 qualification|
In March 2018, Kamara earned a U.S. green card which qualifies him as a domestic player for MLS roster purposes.
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- Oksnes, Bernt Jakob (15 July 2005). "Her er nye Norge" (in Norwegian). Dagbladet. p. 26. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
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- Nilsen, Jostein (3 December 2010). "Signerte ny kontrakt" (in Norwegian). Drammens Tidende. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
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- Hoff, Jørgen B.; Stølan, Hege Dancke (20 June 2012). "Målkåt Kamara med to hat trick på rad" (in Norwegian). Dagbladet. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- Holth, Eivind Brennhovd (27 July 2012). "Kamara: – Andreomgang er en maktdemonstrasjon" (in Norwegian). Drammens Tidende. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- Hoff, Jørgen B.; Stølan (5 November 2012). "Berget i SMS til Kamara: "Det står mellom oss to konger nå"" (in Norwegian). Dagbladet. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- "Ola Kamara forsvinner trolig fra Godset" (in Norwegian). Aftenposten. Norwegian News Agency. 17 November 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- "Ola Kamara verstärkt den Löwen-Sturm" (in German). TSV 1860 München. 20 January 2013. Archived from the original on 23 January 2013. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
- "Ola Kamara til Molde!" [Ola Kamara to Molde!]. http://www.moldefk.no/ (in Norwegian). Molde FK. 28 January 2015. Archived from the original on 28 January 2015. Retrieved 28 January 2015. External link in
- "Columbus Crew SC sign 26-year-old Norwegian international forward Ola Kamara". Major League Soccer. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
- "2016 MLS Player Salaries: May 15, 2016: By Club" (PDF). Major League Soccer Players Union. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
- "Montreal Impact 2-0 Columbus Crew SC". ESPNFC. Retrieved 25 December 2016.
- "Ola Kamara". Major League Soccer. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
- "深圳官方宣布伊布队友加盟 36场19球全能射手来投". Sina.com (in Chinese). 28 February 2019. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
- Becherano, Lizzy (18 August 2019). [Wayne Rooney gets sent off early, and D.C. United falls to the New York Red Bulls "Frustration reigns as D.C. United fall 1-0 at Vancouver Whitecaps"] Check
|url=value (help). Black & Red United. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
- Giambalvo, Emily (22 August 2019). "Wayne Rooney gets sent off early, and D.C. United falls to the New York Red Bulls". The Washington Post. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
- Becherano, Lizzy (31 August 2019). "Ola Kamara sparks first half blitz as D.C. United downs Montreal Impact 3-0". Black & Red United. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
- "D.C. United fails to break down 9-man FC Cincinnati in frustrating 0-0 draw". Retrieved 6 October 2019.
- Kvam, Lars Hojem (12 October 2013). "Én norsk spiller storkoste seg mot Slovenia". Dagbladet (in Norwegian). Retrieved 19 November 2013.
- Røed-Johansen, Daniel (15 October 2013). "Slik spilte Norge i Høgmos Ullevaal-debut". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). Retrieved 19 November 2013.
- Ola Kamara at Soccerway. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
- Ola Kamara at Major League Soccer
- "Ola Kamara". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved 23 October 2015.
- "Ola Kamara receives green card". LAGalaxy.com. 1 March 2018. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
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