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Amarikwa makes immediate impact with Toronto FC

Amarikwa makes immediate impact with Toronto FC

Tom Szczerbowski

Signed Saturday morning, Quincy Amarikwa scored a few hours later to help Toronto FC draw 1-1 with Liverpool in a friendly.

TORONTO - It's been a whirlwind few hours for Quincy Amarikwa.

The 24-year-old forward was announced as Toronto FC's newest acquisition on Saturday morning, and later that afternoon he sent the Rogers Centre into raptures when he scored a 58th minute goal to put his new club up 1-0 against visiting Liverpool.

TFC didn't win the game - Liverpool would pounce on a defensive error just over 10 minutes later to equalize - but Amarikwa's goal gave Toronto a brief lead over a club that many thought would dominate the high profile friendly.

He followed up on a powerful Sergio Camargo shot and beat his defender to the rebound for the open-net strike, using the speed and athleticism that convinced TFC coach Paul Mariner to sign the California native.

"You can see he's got the aerial leap, he gets up well, he holds the ball well," Mariner told reporters after the match. "He's a small guy but he's very, very strong. It was a classic centre forward's goal.

"Always follow the shot in. He did that and I'm very happy for him."

For Amarikwa, his debut for TFC - in front of 33,087 spectators - was just about integrating himself into his new squad.

"I was really happy to go out there and get some minutes, and even more happy to put away a goal," the forward said. "I'm hoping I can come in immediately and make a difference. I hope the coaching staff likes what I can bring to the table."

He didn't hurt his chances with the goal, which came during a lively second half in which the Toronto reserves and academy players were given a chance to shine. That Amarikwa was thrust into action with the lesser lights of the team speaks to the work that he says he still has to do.

"I think it'll be a little bit of time before I get a feel for exactly how the team likes to play, [and] what players' tendencies are," he said, "but I think I can learn quickly and become an integral part of the team quickly."

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