Amarikwa finally finding a home on Colorado's flanks

Attacking player nets preseason game-winner versus Chivas

Colorado Rapids forward Quincy Amarikwa

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CARSON, Calif. – Quincy Amarikwa is probably not the first person that comes to mind when talking about pacy, goal-scoring Colorado Rapids forwards, a team whose attack has been in large part defined by All-Star Omar Cunnings over the past several years.

But on Tuesday afternoon at the Home Depot Center, Amarikwa – a fourth-year pro out of UC Davis – showed both his speed and his nose for the net when he knocked home the only goal of Colorado’s 1-0 friendly win over Chivas USA. And it could be a sign of things to come.

“Quincy brings us a lot of energy all the time – in training, in the games, he’s active, he’s busy [and] he’s mobile,” head coach Oscar Pareja told MLSsoccer.com on Tuesday. “He’s growing. Quincy is a player who’s going to help us.”

It certainly looked that way against the Rojiblancos, who struggled to deal with Amarikwa’s movement and willingness to play small combinations from the flanks of Colorado’s new-look 4-3-3.

While the returns are early, it certainly looks as if the attacker has adjusted to the scheme quickly, and is more than happy to use the room he’s afforded out wide – something he didn’t always have when playing as a second forward in the 4-4-2 of previous years.

“It gives us a bit more space and creativity to go forward,” Amarikwa said of the shift. “I think after we get after it a couple more weeks, we’re going to be pretty good at it.”

While he and the rest of his teammates are adjusting to Pareja’s vision, Amarikwa is also transitioning into something of a leader. He came on in the 61st minute against Chivas, and was perhaps the most vocal member of what amounted to the Rapids’ second unit.

On the goal itself, midfielder Steven Emory forced a deep turnover and carried the ball into the attacking third. Amarikwa darted between the Goats defenders, yelling, “Steven, back post, back post!”

Emory obliged, and Amarikwa had the tap-in winner.

“You gotta let ‘em know,” Amarikwa said with a laugh. “It always makes it easier if someone’s talking to you. I like it when someone’s telling me what’s easiest, kind of working for each other. So that’s why I was being vocal today.”