In need of a backup for Wayne Rooney, D.C. United has turned to a well-traveled MLS forward known for his work ethic and strength but, in recent years, not his scoring touch.
Quincy Amarikwa, 31, agreed to contract terms and joined the team for indoor workouts in Springfield on Monday morning. The sides are in the process of finalizing the free agent deal.
United officials did not want to comment until the agreement is completed.
Amarikwa’s base salary last year was $275,500. The new figure will not be made public until the spring.
Amarikwa began last season with the San Jose Earthquakes before being traded to the Montreal Impact. He totaled 24 appearances, eight starts, one goal and two assists. In 2017, after recovering from a major knee injury suffered late in the 2016 season, he did not score in nine matches (one start).
Amarikwa started his career in 2009 with San Jose before moving to Colorado, Toronto and Chicago and then the Earthquakes again in 2015. His most productive seasons came in 2014 with Chicago (eight goals, five assists) and the following year with San Jose (six goals, four assists in just 17 matches).
Amarikwa is pegged to fill the void left by Darren Mattocks, who became disgruntled with playing time late last season after losing his starting job to Rooney. Mattocks signed with expansion Cincinnati this winter.
Rooney, 33, was a durable figure after joining the team last July, logging 90 minutes in 14 of the last 17 regular season matches and departing the other three in the late stages. But over the course of a full season, he will need relief at times.
In the first two preseason matches, others to see time on the United frontline were a third-round draft pick, a second-division prospect and midfielder Ulises Segura.
United remains in the market for a central defender to compete with Frederic Brillant for a starting slot or to add depth. Steve Birnbaum will anchor the backline, and the other options are rookie Donovan Pines and reserve Jalen Robinson.
>> The organization is finalizing several contracts with both domestic and international players to join Loudoun United, a new second-division team based in Leesburg. Attacker Shinya Kadono, a third-round draft pick from California-Berkeley, is a prime candidate after surviving the first round of D.C. cuts.
>> Attacker Leandro Alves, another third-round pick, and defenders Colton Storm and Peabo Doue were released.
>> United continues to take a hard look in camp at academy players Griffin Yow and Bryang Kayo for homegrown contracts or regular Loudoun assignments. Academy players are allowed to play in USL matches without losing amateur eligibility. Kayo is slated to play for Wake Forest.
>> With the next phase of camp in Clearwater, Fla., beginning Wednesday, United will invite additional trialists to compete for the last few roster slots. No names have been made public yet.
>> Argentine midfielder Lucas Rodriguez has been slowed by a hip flexor injury and Pines iced a knee after Monday’s training.
>> Olsen said he plans to play his first-choice players about 60 minutes Saturday against the second-division Tampa Bay Rowdies. For the Feb. 20 game against Philadelphia, the second unit would play about 60. Olsen is aiming for the primary lineup to go 75-90 minutes in the preseason finale Feb. 23 against Montreal.
The regular season opener is March 3 against Atlanta at Audi Field.
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