Carson, Ca. — It’s never easy being the new guy in town, but LA Galaxy forward Ola Kamara seems to be adjusting to his new club. His teammates are getting used to him as well.
“You saw today, we created a lot of chances,” Kamara told reporters after the Galaxy’s 3-0 win over New York City FC on Saturday night at StubHub Center. “Could have maybe had two goals today.
“I think it’s a good feeling for me when I see that they see my runs and see my movements.”
There was a marked improvement from the Galaxy’s first preseason game – a 3-1 loss to Real Salt Lake — in Kamara’s inclusion in the attack and the level of creativity displayed by the Galaxy’s front six.
Several scoring chances saw Romain Alessandrini, Jonathan dos Santos, Emmanuel Boateng and Giovani dos Santos combine well with Kamara. But timing and familiarity remain key issues for a club that is looking to indoctrinate up to a dozen new players in the Galaxy way of doing things.
Kamara and company seem to be on the right track in that regard, however.
“Ola is the kind of player, as time goes by, we’ll learn how to use him more,” Galaxy head coach Sigi Schmid revealed in a post-game press conference. “He learns what our guys are doing more as well.”
These preseason games are just extensions of the training that is taking place almost every day at StubHub Center. Schmid and his coaching staff are getting the entire team as many minutes together as they can – familiarity, seemingly being born from repetition, and recognition of similar situations.
“We worked on it the other day in training … played some offense against defense, looked for the balls in behind,” Schmid continued. “Thought we had a really good sequence once where it was up to Ola (Kamara), he dropped back and we were looking to get through.
“Those are combinations that we’re looking for.”
Kamara said he is looking to find them as well.
“I think the chemistry is coming, of course,” he said Saturday. “I think it was a strong team performance overall. But that chemistry is important for us. I think we have a lot of attacking power, as I’ve said before. We are going to continue working on that.”
With his goal coming on a broken play and a lucky bounce or two, it’s safe to say the Galaxy have yet to figure out how to use Kamara most effectively. But they are looking for him on a regular basis, and that’s a start.
A little luck never hurt anyone, either.
“I actually slipped before that,” Kamara said with a laugh about his goal in the ninth minute Saturday. “But when it bounced like that I just wanted to hit it first-time. I kind of saw like the corner was open so I just hit it.”
All in all, Kamara appears ready to find more success on the field. The chemistry with his new teammates may not be perfect at this point, but it definitely is building.
The Galaxy, who shipped off homegrown player Gyasi Zardes and a boatload of targeted allocation money to Columbus in exchange for Kamara, are expecting nothing less than perfection. But the pressure doesn’t seem to be affecting him at the moment.
He’s just happy there’s still time before the Galaxy’s regular season gets underway on March 4 against the Portland Timbers.
“I still think it’s good that it’s one more month until the season starts,” Kamara smiled.