Amarikawa joins the ranks with Rapids

San Jose trade puts youngster behind Cummings, Casey

Quincy Amarikawa landed in Denver from California at 9:30
a.m. local time on Friday morning, kicking off one of the longest days of the
22-year-old’s brief soccer career.

The newest Colorado Rapids forward was traded from San Jose on
Wednesday and worked out with the club for the first time Friday, then returned
to the airport to join the club on its flight to Kansas City.

The Rapids put their unbeaten record on the line against the
Wizards on Saturday night.

Amarikawa is unlikely to walk into a starting lineup that
possesses two of the league’s better forwards in Omar Cummings and Conor Casey.
But after a stint with San Jose that saw him gradually fall down the pecking
order before he was shipped out of town, he’s content to know where he stands
in Denver.

“In some ways, it’s better to know your role rather than be
kept dangling,” he said. “The San Jose coaching staff wanted to get in more
veteran players. I am looking forward to learning from [Casey and Cummings].”

Though he’s not a projected starter now, he could get a shot
up top this summer. With Casey possibly going off to the World Cup and the
potential injuries that usually befall teams during the season, there will be

“I’m really
competitive and I think I work really hard,” Amarikawa said. “I don’t care if
we're down 10-0 or up 3-0, I just love to play.”

Just how much he will play remains to be seen, but he appears
to be a genuine option off the bench in Kansas City and beyond.

Fellow new signing Claudio López, with whom Amarikawa
trained Friday, could end up playing together with Amarikawa for some part of
Tuesday’s U.S. Open Cup game at Kansas City. Rapids coach Gary Smith has
said that López could play a role for a half-hour or so against his old team
next week.

López didn't travel with the team Friday as his visa
processing continues and as he battles back to match fitness.