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March 26, 2023
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Los Gatos striker Brady Kamali knows how to finish

After winning its season-opener on Dec. 3, the Los Gatos High boys soccer team lost its next three matches, the last of which came in a Santa Clara Valley Athletic League El Camino Division opener to Saratoga High, 2-0, on Dec. 15. 

The Wildcats haven’t lost since. They entered the week 7-3-3 overall and 4-1-2 in league and in a virtual tie atop the division standings with Fremont High of Sunnyvale. The team has received tremendous play from every position on the field, none better than up top from Brady Kamali.

The 6-foot-2, 170-pound senior has scored nine of the team’s 16 goals entering this week’s action, which speaks volumes because unless a team has a legitimate scorer, it can’t expect to accumulate victories. Draws, yes, but wins, no. 

So, having a legitimate sniper on the team like the Wildcats have in Kamali can’t be overemphasized in its importance and value. Most of Kamali’s goals have come off set pieces, or aggressively fighting for a loose ball in the penalty area and emerging out of a scrum to get the ball in the net. 

“Brady is one of the top players I foresee in the league,” Fumia said after Kamali scored two goals in a 3-2 win over Fremont on Jan. 5. “He’s got pace, he’s strong, he can strike the ball and he’s good in the air.” 

Kamali scored the team’s lone goal in the rematch with Fremont on Jan. 26, a 1-1 draw. It came off—you guessed it—a set piece from Matt Chase, whose corner kick landed in the 18-yard box, where Kamali came out of a scrum to score. 

It’s been quite a turnaround for the Wildcats, who went 2-8-1 in the tougher SCVAL De Anza Division last year. After the Saratoga match, the team knew it had to start playing better or it would translate into another frustrating season. 

“We were quite disappointed after that loss, but we knew we brought it upon ourselves,” Kamali said. “We didn’t play a great game and knew we had more to show the league. After that, we were ready to prove ourselves.”

The Wildcats started to trust each other more, leading to increased cohesiveness on the field.

“Once we had a lot of trust, we were able to bounce back,” Kamali said. “Just giving each other feedback which helped us build our chemistry.”

That has been evident on the pitch, as the team generally plays in sync, connecting on passes, communicating and being dangerous on set pieces. With his athleticism and frame, Kamali literally soars above opposing players on headers. 

It’s not just his height, though, that makes him a potent offensive player. Kamali has tremendous speed, which shows in games when he blows by a defender on the flanks. Kamali was a member of the Los Gatos 4×400 meter relay team that won the Central Coast Section championship last year in a blazing-fast 3 minutes, 20.74 seconds.  

Kamali can’t wait for the track and field season to start as he and two other relay members, Wil Brennan and Levi Romero, return. 

“We’ve already been doing a little bit of [training] stuff, so we’re trying to find that one more guy,” he said. 

Kamali wasn’t always physically athletic—he worked for it. In his freshman year, Kamali said in his estimation he was around 130 pounds. But Kamali hit a growth spurt going into his sophomore year, which was followed by some dedicated strength-training, especially during the Covid lockdown period. 

“The summer [in 2020] I definitely sprouted up for sure,” he said. “I started hitting the gym regularly. It was a big motivation knowing that it could benefit me in both sports being able to push people off the ball and in track to have the strength to keep going when you feel the need to collapse.”

For now, Kamali and his teammates have unfinished business against Saratoga, who they play in the league-finale at home on Feb. 14. Due to a quirky aspect in the league schedule, the teams will have gone exactly two months in between the first and second matches. 

“I’ve been looking forward to Feb. 14 since the day we lost to Saratoga,” Kamali said. “Especially because we have a chance of winning league. I’m really looking forward to that night. It’ll be Senior Night, our last game, and it’s time to leave it all on the table. If we can win league, what more can we hope for?”

Kamali said outside of the team-bonding activities and spending more time together off the field, the arrival of coach Joel Fumia has infused an added boost and structure into the program. 

“It’s been a huge difference,” he said. “I think as a team we have a lot more trust and faith in Joel as a coach, and we’ve really bonded with him and believe in him and his tactics and are able to execute them on the field.”

Kamali has utilized his size and speed to score goals, but an underrated part of his game is simply his willingness to compete for 50-50 balls or gain possession among a bunch of players in tight quarters. Kamali also gets fouled a lot in open space, partly because that’s the only way for opponents to stop him.

Brady Kamali has had a lot to celebrate this season, having scored nine goals in 13 games. File photo.
Brady Kamali has used his head – literally and figuratively – to score nine goals entering this week’s play. File photo.
Emanuel Lee
Emanuel Lee is the sports editor of the Los Gatan, Gilroy Dispatch, Hollister Free Lance and Morgan Hill Times. An American High and University of Kentucky alumnus, he primarily covers high school athletics, Gavilan College, various youth sports in south Santa Clara/San Benito counties and pro sports on occasion. Two decades of journalism experience and recipient of several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. With the Weeklys/NewSVMedia group since 2013. Emanuel has run eight marathons with a PR of 3:13.40 (7:24 mile pace), counts himself as a devoted follower of Jesus Christ and loves spending time with his wife and their two lovely daughters, Evangeline and Eliza. Coaches, athletic directors and parents are encouraged to report scores to [email protected]


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