Los Angeles Football Club’s (LAFC) latest striker purchase has undoubtedly garnered attention. Kei Kamara has signed with a record-tying 11th MLS side, Los Angeles FC, for the 2024 season. The club announced the deal on Friday, adding that they also have an agreement for an option for 2025.

With the signing of the league’s all-time leading scorer comes a great deal of anticipation and mystery around the 2024 campaign. With a huge goal repertoire and a plethora of experience under his belt, 39-year-old Kamara might be an asset to Steve Cherundolo.

“Kei is one of the all-time greatest goal scorers in MLS history and a great complement to our attack. Kei has a long history here in Southern California, so we know it will bring a sense of pride for him to represent LAFC”, John Thorrington, co-president and general manager of the club said.

Mission to overtake Donovan

Kamara had been a free agent after leaving Chicago Fire last fall. He has 17 years of experience in Major League Soccer and has appeared in 418 regular season games.

“I’m going to play another season in the MLS”, he said in October 2023. “I’m not done yet, definitely. I think this is my last game for the club, so I’ll be moving on. I’ll play another season. 

“I’ve enjoyed myself and representing this club and the things that we achieved this year playing with some of these younger players … it’s been amazing for me and something I’m going to hold dearly to my heart.”

Olivier Giroud will sign with LAFC once his time in Milan comes to an end
Olivier Giroud will sign with LAFC once his time in Milan comes to an end

Olivier Giroud will sign with LAFC once his time in Milan comes to an end

After stalwarts like Chris Wondolowski and Landon Donovan, the striker sits third all-time with 144 goals scored in the league. Having played in the league for almost two decades, his presence on the pitch is associated with more than simply goals; it also signifies leadership and tactical acumen.

This 39-year-old Sierra Leonean is aiming to catch up to Landon Donovan, who is currently in second place on the MLS scoring statistics. Donovan finished his epic Major League Soccer career with 145 goals scored. Wondolowski, a former striker for the USMNT and the San Jose Earthquakes, overtook him in 2018.

Viable alternative until Giroud arrives?

With Denis Bouanga at the helm of the attack and Kamara as a target striker, LAFC has a formidable attacking force. Moreover, when Olivier Giroud departs AC Milan this summer, they will allegedly sign the renowned French striker.

For the Italian side, the 37-year-old veteran has been sensational this season, contributing to 14 goals and 9 assists in all competitions. Upon his arrival in Los Angeles, he will strive to recreate that. However, until then, LAFC will consider Kamara as a viable alternative.

Mateusz Bogusz has been a mainstay in head coach Steve Cherundolo’s starting lineups this season. He has often stepped in as a substitute for Bouanga and Cristian Olivera in the front three. Tomas Angel and Nathan Ordaz are two other alternatives for center forwards.

The Black & Gold have created history by making it to the MLS Cup twice, winning in 2022. They have two wins, two losses, and one tie as of Matchday 6 in the Western Conference.

Photo credits: IMAGO / Sports Press Photo : IMAGO / Sportimage