Ahead of the 2016 MLS SuperDraft in Baltimore, we take a look at the different draft day stories from current Quakes players. From getting the news in a college classroom to shaking Don Garber's hand on the podium, each story shows the beauty of how these players started their careers in MLS.
Come Thursday, a number of college soccer standouts will be seated around MLS commissioner Don Garber awaiting their named to be called at the 2016 MLS SuperDraft in Baltimore.
Not all aspiring draftees, however, will be taking in the moment amongst MLS coaches, general managers and presidents in the confines of the draft room.
Take San Jose Earthquakes forward Quincy Amarikwa for instance.
Rather than being seated alongside fellow draft hopefuls at the 2009 MLS SuperDraft, he was halfway through a biology course on the campus of UC Davis before his cell phone started to go off in class.
“When I got drafted I was in my bio lab and my phone was blowing up saying ‘Congratulations! Congratulations!’
"I look down at my phone and I was like ‘Oh, I got drafted by the San Jose Earthquakes. Awesome!’” Amarikwa laughed. “But I still had to finish my classes and all of that.”
Amarikwa was drafted in the third round (32nd overall) of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft by San Jose after recording 31 goals and seven assists in 77 games for the UC Davis Aggies.
For Quincy, getting drafted was one thing - making the team was another.
“Getting drafted doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re on the team,” Amarikwa explained. “You still have to show up and tryout. Then they offer you a contract if they want you to stay.”
The Bakersfield native made the team in 2009 and tallied one goal and two assists in 23 games played, establishing himself as a fan favorite amongst the San Jose faithful.
His MLS career led him back to the Quakes in 2015, where he tallied six goals in 17 games for San Jose after being acquired midseason, second most on the club. Only Didier Drogba scored more goals (11) in 2015 in 17 or fewer games with one club.
Not all successful MLS careers start with the commissioners handshake. As Quincy has proved throughout the years, it’s what you do on the field that cements yourself in this league.