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Ola Kamara says “a lion and a panther up top” good for LA Galaxy

Mar 4, 2018; Carson, CA, USA; Los Angeles Galaxy forward Ola Kamara (11) controls the ball against the Portland Timbers during the second half at StubHub Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

On the day Zlatan Ibrahimovic took out a full page advertisement in the Los Angeles Times to trumpet his arrival in La La Land, a future teammate with the L.A. Galaxy publicized a strong statement of his own.

Ola Kamara recorded a hat trick for Norway in the country’s 4-1 victory over World Cup bound Australia.

Kamara scored 34 times in Major League Soccer the past two seasons with Columbus Crew SC.  He occupied a single striker position with first-time finishes in or around the six-yard box on 17 of 18 regular season tallies in 2017. 

Ibrahimovic, who once proclaimed, “I am a lion, not a human,” has 381 career goals for club and country. He has often prospered in a lone striker scenario which resulted in 17 goals for Manchester United in the 2016-17 campaign.

Galaxy head coach Sigi Schmid is required to develop a scheme that includes both Ibrahimovic and Kamara in his starting XI.

“We’re going to have to try and figure that out,” Schmid told reporters after Saturday’s draw with the Vancouver Whitecaps. “I’m sure we can establish a connection and a combination there.”

“He (Schmid) has to figure it out,” Kamara said after Wednesday’s training. “All the players will have to adjust but you’ll always have room for a lot of goal scorers.”

Kamara dismissed the notion of a Schmid design that would include the 28-year old on the flank.

“I’m not a winger,” Kamara said although he is motivated to partner up with his fellow Scandinavian.

“For me it can be a very positive thing – a world class striker coming in,” Kamara said. “Now you get a lion and a panther up top. For the Galaxy, that’s good.”

The Galaxy announced that Ibrahimovic will participate in training for the first time on Friday and be available for the initial “El Trafico” derby match on Saturday when the Galaxy host LAFC.

“When you step on the field with Ibra, you know that if you make your run, he’ll find you,” Schmid said about the Swedish national.

“We’ll see how the chemistry is,” Kamara said.  “If I can do the runs and he can hit me, that’s good. For him, there’s a little more space in MLS and that’s going to suit him well and of course I think he’s going to score a couple of goals.”

Prior to a call-up last November for a pair of friendlies, Kamara had been absent from the Norwegian picture for over three years. His country has failed to qualify for World Cup 2018 so the focus is clearly the 2020 European Championships.

Kamara scored just one international goal before his onslaught against the Aussies.

“I’ve been out of the national team for a long time,” Kamara said. “I should have been there before, too. But actually going there and saying that I should be there and actually delivering – that’s a good feeling. It was fun to prove that and prove to myself that I can score on the international level.”

Fair warning to MLS opponents who will be intent to devise a plan to contain a potentially lethal Galaxy tandem – the lion and the panther.

Here is the full audio of Ola Kamara after Galaxy training on Wednesday.




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