CHICAGO, Ill. -- Just four days away from the 2013 season opener, the Chicago Fire continued to make moves within the league Wednesday when they acquired attacker Quincy Amarikwa from Toronto FC in exchange for a 2014 first round Supplemental Draft pick.
Amarikwa becomes the fifth player with MLS experience acquired by the Fire this offseason.
RELEASE: Fire acquire Amarikwa
“I’m excited to be here and glad to be in with a good group of guys,” Amarikwa told Chicago-Fire.com “I think it’s a good place to be and I’m just looking forward to getting the season started and contributing.”
Ever since Amarikwa came on as a second half substitute in a preseason friendly against San Jose, Fire head coach Frank Klopas didn’t make much secret that the Fire were trying to acquire the UC-Davis product.
Having not trained with the team prior to that match, Amarikwa impressed in his limited 28 minutes, going on to draw the game-winning penalty in the dying moments of the match.
HIGHLIGHTS: Fire 1, SJ 0
“That’s the name of the business,” he said about the situation. “You have to be ready to play whenever you’re called upon. I feel that’s something I’m very good at – traveling and having to perform and show yourself.”
Splitting his four previous MLS seasons with Toronto, Colorado and San Jose, Amarikwa has been used almost exclusively as a substitute, starting 14 of 67 career MLS matches and at the onset of the 2013 campaign, it seems like that type of role will continue for the Fire.
“I’m really competitive and that’s what these guys have here,” said Amarikwa “They’re a competitive group that works hard I think my skill set and my abilities compliment that well.”
The fifth-year MLS veteran joined the Fire last Friday in Charleston and has trained with the team leading up to making the deal official.
He steps into a Chicago squad that seems much more settled than the situation he’s leaving in Toronto.
“There was a lot of uncertainty there over the offseason. There were discussions and talks but with all the uncertainty of who was actually going to be running what, I wanted to explore other options.
“If I’d gone back there as far as coaching staff and everything is concerned, I’d be starting back over again anyways.
“We want good soccer players but also guys with the right mentality on and off the field,” said Fire President of Soccer Operations Javier Leon. “Before the deal, we reached out to Quincy to get to know him and felt that his skills as well as his attitude and professionalism were a good fit for our team.”
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Along with fitting well with the team, Amarikwa brings championship experience to the Fire, joining Jeff Larentowicz and Wells Thompson as the third member of the 2010 MLS champion Colorado Rapids to join the Fire in the last year.
“It’s good to see some familiar faces and also you know it’ll translate better on the field.Playing with those guys for two years and winning a championship, can only help. The chemistry that we built there comes along and is very good, hopefully we can keep that going.”