He has produced arguably the best goal of the year. A sensational volley from far beyond where anyone should ever consider shooting from. But it went in. And… that has been his only goal this year.
Lining up next to Chris Wondolowski, Qunciy Amarikwa has a nice set up. He is lined up next to one of the best, if not the best, strikers in MLS. Wondo requires a lot of attention and that should give someone with the work rate of Amarikwa plenty of space to operate. However, thus far into the year, the Earthquakes have a bit of a ‘Wondo or bust’ complex.
That is what is keeping the Earthquakes mired mid table. They need to have more than one avenue towards goals and right now they just don’t.
Amarikwa has been moved around a lot in his career, going from the Fire to the Earthquakes, back to the Fire and now he is back with the Earthquakes. For as much talent as Amarikwa has, he should be able to find a permanent home and if he wants that home to be in San Jose, they need to see more out of him, more than what he has done.
Which is part of the problem this year. Amarikwa is doing exactly what he has always done. He is creating just as many chances and taking just as many shots as ever before.
Amarikwa has never even been a heavy goal-scorer. Yet he fires just as many shots as Chris Wondolowski. Something about that doesn’t jive and it needs to be sorted out for the Earthquakes to reach that next level of offensive relevance. Again I restate that when you watch Amarikwa play, you see a high degree of athletic ability. It’s just that the final product isn’t always there. Consider him like MLS’s Danny Welbeck.
However, this year there is another emerging problem with Amarikwa’s game. He isn’t maintaining possession all that well. In fact, he is averaging seven possession losses per match – hardly something you want to see a forward doing.
Which leads to the final point. Amarikwa needs to establish a home. When considering his career stats, there is a potentially exciting theme developing. When Amarikwa was with the Chicago Fire, he scored three goals, then eight goals, then he was traded. Last year, he only scored six goals, but that was in only seventeen appearances. Flesh that out to this year, and there could be a potentially exponential goal growth, if the trend proves to be an actual trend.
The Earthquakes have to build around Wondolowski, and some of that has to fall on Amarikwa, who has to build on what he did last year.