Amarikwa's energy catalyst behind TFC's late-game push
TORONTO – Quincy Amarikwa had a mission from Toronto FC head coach Paul Mariner when he was sent into Wednesday’s game at Columbus: inject some energy into the side.
The 24-year-old forward heard and heeded the message. Immediately after he entered the game, Toronto pulled back a goal and dominated the rest of the way despite being unable to find the equalizer in the 2-1 loss.
The Reds’ scored after a goal kick from Freddy Hall that Ryan Johnson headed on to Amarikwa, who laid the ball off to Eric Hassli. The French striker fed a through ball to Luis Silva who applied the finishing touch.
WATCH: Amarikwa helps set up Silva goal
“That kind of got the ball rolling right away,” Amarikwa said after the game. “I felt we had them on the back foot for the last 25-30 minutes there but we just couldn’t get that second one in.”
The Reds are winless in five games with four losses and a tie after falling to the Crew, who regained the Trillium Cup by clinching the season series between the clubs. Amarikwa may have earned more playing time with his 20-minute outing that came in his fourth appearance since he was acquired in a trade from the New York Red Bulls on July 21.
“I just did what Paul asked me to do, come out there and added a little energy to the guys, and hopefully try to turn the game around and we almost did it,” Amarikwa said. “I think once I came on I kind of made the defense stretch a little bit so that freed him up and gave him more space to come back and receive the ball.”
Mariner liked what he saw from his substitute and was glad he tilted the momentum of the game in Toronto's favor upon entering.
“Quincy is a player with a lot of upside, [but] he’s got a lot to learn,” Mariner said. “You could see what he brought, a lot of energy up front.”