When Quincy Amarikwa earned a 67th minute penalty kick in Sunday’s 1-1 draw vs. LA Galaxy, it occurred to me that the Fire had received a lot more spot kicks in 2014 than they have in recent seasons.
Upon further review, the Fire have received six penalty kicks in 12 matches this season, averaging one every two games. It’s safe to say the Fire wouldn’t have earned as many opportunities without the ability of Amarikwa to draw so many penalties…
Have a look...
|Date/Result||Penalty Earned||Penalty Taken||Converted||Miss/Save|
|3/16/14 - 1-1 at POR||Quincy Amarikwa||Jeff Larentowicz||X|
|4/5/14 - 2-2 vs. PHI||Juan Luis Anangono||Mike Magee||X|
|4/19/14 - 1-1 vs. NE||Victor Pineda||Juan Luis Anangono||X|
|5/18/14 - 2-1 vs. SKC||Quincy Amarikwa||Mike Magee||X|
|5/18/14 - 2-1 vs. SKC||Benji Joya||Mike Magee||X|
|6/1/14 - 1-1 vs. LA||Quincy Amarikwa||Jeff Larentowicz||X|
While the table serves as a reminder that the Fire probably would be further up the table if not for a few penalty saves in April, let me also point out that the rate of penalties so far this year is a club record to this point in any of the team’s 17 seasons of existence. In fact, there are only five other seasons in which the club has earned six or more spot kicks the entire year.
|Season||Overall Conversion Rate||Conversion Through 12 Games|
The penalty earned by Amarikwa Sunday was his fourth since joining the Fire last season. It's a relatively small sample size, but the team has never missed a penalty that #QuincyTime has earned as Mike Magee also scored on the penalty he won last July in a 4-1 romp of D.C. United.
Amarikwa seems perfectly built to be a player that can draw dangerous opportunities for his team. Strength on and of the ball along with lightning quickness that turn what look like "meh" opportunities into beautiful chances mean defenders have their hands full whenever he's on the field.
There have been a few times where he's fallen gracefully (and been punished for it) and Sunday's penalty call *may* have occurred just outside the area but there's little doubt that something will probably happen in or around the box whenever Amarikwa is on the field.
Like in the MLS Fantasy Challenge, perhaps "Penalties Earned" should become an official statistic in Major League Soccer. Until that happens, perhaps you should take in the latest episode of #QuincyTime: