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Zlatan in My Back Pocket #MSL>MLS –

Welcome to a brand new week!

I hope you’re having a great week so far and are crushing your goals in business, relationships, soccer and life!

This past week has been a busy one for me. I have mentioned in a past newsletter that I have been on the board for the publicly-traded company Social Life Network for a little over a year and a half now.  

We (my wife and I through our ) have been working on developing the market research for one of their newest brands FutPost over the course of 2019 and have since relaunched and rebranded their online presence in partnership with Perfect Soccer.

With the coaches convention coming up in January, I’m looking forward to sharing what we (myself and team) have been up to. If you plan on attending, please let me know! I’d love to connect while in town.
On top of that, my team and I put out episode 49 of the #AskASoccerPro Show and I had an all-day interview and photoshoot with the guys over at Club Eleven

It was a great time and we ended up spending a lot longer than I think we originally planned, speaking about a wide range of topics…

But I’m excited to share that we’ll be partnering with them on some projects here in the near future as well. 

(And brought them on as official Influencers of Perfect Soccer and the MSL! The MSL Army grows with every passing week!)

I’m really looking forward to sharing that and more with you in the coming weeks…

Since this past week was all about self-reflection, I wanted to share a story with you about that LA Galaxy match we had earlier this year where I went head to head with Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Well, more like head to chest, I’m not the tallest. 

He’s bigger physically, I’m bigger mentally…

Zlatan in My Back Pocket

While I was doing the work from the start of the year that I knew I had to in order to be ready, when my chance came, I went and shut down Zlatan. 

I denied him any scoring opportunities and confused him like a small child in the box and on corner kicks.

What was I doing marking Zlatan? Really, think about it? Why did I get my only real chance of the year in that game? Against him?

There should be no reason a five-foot nine-person should be marking a six-foot-five Zlatan in the box in one of the biggest, most important games for D.C. United during the year! 
(That’s what most people would say, not me.)

But I did and shut him down. 

I crept into his head and am still building mental space for everybody to come and enjoy and live in #RentFree as they learn about the MSL.

It takes time to learn about and fully understand the MSL, and I’m patient. 
But if you think about that point in time between Zlatan and me, it was an opportunity for me to prove everyone wrong. I had been putting in un-noticed work for six whole months at that point (11 years if you want to get technical) having to work as if everyone was right, and I really was on a downward trend.

There was no way for me to know who was right until I had an opportunity to prove myself. And as my career has been, as most are, those opportunities come few and far between.

That opportunity didn’t come until that LA Galaxy game. If at any point between the beginning of the year and that LA game I had felt sorry for myself or given up, or didn’t do the work to be ready, I would not have been ready for when my opportunity did arrive.

Without putting in the work, I would not have been able to shut down Zlatan so he was unable to score a single goal. That’s #MSL greater than MLS right there, right? 

Because this man claimed to be MLS and then he joined and ran into the MSL. After he ran into a brick wall he panicked and ran away from the middle of the goal on a corner kick play before the ball was even kicked.  

Pure confusion.

Pure Panic.

Little Boy.

That panic carried on for the rest of the game and we went on to win 2-1. 
In one of the most important games in the year during a very bad spell for the team. We came together as a group, fought for each other, and won.

Fun Fact:
 Before that match, I had never seen Zlatan play a single game in my life. 

I was expecting to be impressed and think, “ah, this is what everyone was talking about. They say he has an ironclad mentality.” Nope. 

You can tell me Zlatan did this amazing play or made some goal that defied physics, but then he met and lost to the MSL.

Ben Olsen Post Game (video): 

“Quincy Amarikwa Was Unbelievable.”
“He Changed My Mind.”
“He’s a pain in the ass to play against, he’s fearless.”
“It’s nice to have a big guy up there who can thrash around and win some headers. The goal comes from a goal kick, which is rare for us.”

When your chances come few and far between, you must maintain the work ethic and mentality necessary to be ready when called upon. 

Do not give those who doubt you or those who are actively working to bring you down, the ability to deter you from doing the work you know necessary to reach your goals. 

Your chance will come, whether they want it to or not. And when it does, you will be ready and you will win. MSL Baby!

Ego and the Learning Curve

Maybe you’ve experienced a time in the past when you’ve made a mistake. 
Now, you understand it was a mistake, and you’re working to move past it, but anyone who knew you at that time won’t stop bringing up the mistake you made and won’t move on. 

Maybe they even keep bringing your mistake up as justification for why they don’t believe you when you say you will do something.

Being disbelieved or doubted based on past mistakes is a very real problem. People do have every right to their opinion though, even if it’s wrong. If you are trying to bounce back from past mistakes, this situation can be very difficult to navigate and deal with.

With the MSL mentality, you can learn how to deal with others’ negative opinions of you. At the end of the day, if someone is wrong, they’re wrong. It’s only a matter of time before they learn and realize it.

If someone has a big ego, they generally are less able to self-reflect to see how they got where they are. It’s going to take them longer to come to the realization they were wrong, and the longer this takes, the greater the impact will be when they do realize it.
And the better for you.

We don’t play victim here, it’s time to get in the game if you haven’t already:

Mental Strength Coaching
I’m officially mental strength coaching players to help them be their best, on and off the field. It’s so exciting to see the number of players who value their mental strength grow with each passing week!

Right now I’m coaching:

Earl Edwards Jr. 

CJ Sapong
Chris Odoi-Atsem
Akeem Ward 

Wallis Lapsley

Other players I’ve worked with:

Marc Pelosi

Ryan Masch

Chris Durkin (Durkin joined the #AskASoccerPro Show ep. 34 to talk about his mentality and how to deal with the haters. You can catch the replay here.

Griffin Yow (Griff joined the #AskASoccerPro Show ep. 29 to talk about his mentality and what it was like signing a professional contract at the age of 16. You can catch the replay here.

Jackson Yueill

Matt Bersano

Luis Felipe

Francois Affolter

Danny Hoesen

Donovan Pines


This past week I was fortunate enough to represent my fellow players at the most recent meeting of the MLSPA! It means a lot to me to have the trust of my peers.

Latest Content

Check out this week’s replay and clips of the #AskASoccerPro Show over on YouTube:


Dealing With Racism I #AskASoccerPro Show Ep. 048

Capturing Your Value I  I #AskASoccerPro Show Ep. 048

Long Term Success  I #AskASoccerPro Show Ep. 048

Dealing With Racism Mini-Blog  I #AskASoccerPro Show Ep. 048

Capturing Your Value, Dealing With Racism, Creating Long Term Success: Perfect Soccer Week in Review

PS Clips

Perfect Soccer Updates

Recovering from Injury

Preparing for a Big Game

Dealing with Racism

20/20 Vision in 2020

Choosing a Team

Defending Fast Breaks

Capturing Your Value

Shooting Tips

Subscribe To The Podcast. We’re Now Streaming On All Audio Platforms!

Thank you for catching up with me this week! I’m looking forward to hearing from you on social media (especially Twitter @QuincyAmarikwa), and I look forward to seeing your questions for the next episode of #AskASoccerPro Show!

Talk soon, 

Mental Strength Coach (And master of the dark arts) MSL – Mental Strength League


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