FRISCO, Texas – Time and again this season, Bernard Kamungo has proved himself to be the man for the big occasion. His two first-half goals in FC Dallas' must-win game helped the club advance to the postseason for the fifth time in six years.
Considering his improbable journey to FC Dallas – which began in a Tanzanian refugee camp and reached Dallas by way of Abilene, TX and an open tryout – just earning playing time in his first full season would’ve been a success. Kamungo has done that, and so much more.
Kamungo finishes the regular season as Dallas’ second-top scorer with six goals from just six starts. Included in those six are two game-winning goals, two game-tying goals, and Saturday night's brace in FCD's 4-1 win over the LA Galaxy. Still just 21, Kamungo has a knack for delivering when the lights are brightest.
Looking back, Kamungo’s ability to seize the day was apparent right from the very start of his pro career. April 25, 2021, Kamungo marked his North Texas SC debut with a wonderful solo goal off the bench to seal a 4-2 win. Later that season, he scored the equalizer for 10-man North Texas in his first playoff game.
Kamungo is honing that ability with FC Dallas, despite it being his maiden season in the top division. He marked his Toyota Stadium debut in April of this year with a game-winner against Real Salt Lake. Three months later, on his first start in MLS, Kamungo pounced for another winner against the reigning champions, LAFC.
Another Kamungo goal, this time a diving header, earned FCD a crucial point in Seattle before MLS entered a summer break for the new-look Leagues Cup. There, Kamungo soared to new heights. He ended the group stage with a goal and three assists before Dallas met Inter Miami and Lionel Messi in the quarterfinals. As usual, Messi delivered with two goals to send Miami through in penalties, but Kamungo wasn’t forgotten. The “Abilene Dream” scored another eye-catching solo goal in the 4-4 contest, introducing himself and his story to the wider American soccer audience.
And now, with FC Dallas needing a rare road win to stamp its playoff ticket, Kamungo delivered again. His first-half goals sparked Dallas’ best attacking performance of 2023 and made sure the season didn't end there.
Kamungo’s career is still very much in its infancy but it’s becoming clearer and clearer that he just has it.