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Godspeedysick (Footytube Moderator) 4 years ago
Darren Mattocks 'made it look easy'
By Cam Tucker, Vancouver Sun July 12, 2012


Darren Mattocks doesn’t know how long he was in the air for. He doesn’t exactly know how high.

But he’s aware that what transpired in the first minute of second half stoppage time Wednesday against Toronto FC was an extraordinary show of grace and athleticism that, for an instant, seemed to defy gravity.

Mattocks, the Vancouver Whitecaps 21-year-old Jamaican striker, scored his sixth goal of the Major League Soccer regular season, and his second Wednesday night, on a brilliant header that saw him leap over Toronto FC defender Logan Emory and goalkeeper Milos Kocic, high and long enough to deflect an arcing ball from Jordan Harvey into a wide open net.

The feed from Harvey, who was closer to midfield than he was the 18-yard box, followed by the jump, the height, the timing, the concentration and, most importantly, the finish from Mattocks - they all came together to form one masterpiece.

“To jump eight or nine feet, it’s pretty amazing,” said Mattocks during a phone interview Thursday, shortly after the Whitecaps touched down in Chicago, where they will conclude a five-game road trip Saturday against the Fire.

“That was really difficult but I made it look easy. I just wanted to keep my concentration, keep my eye on the ball and bury it into the goal, so it was pretty good.”

The goal tied the match 2-2, however, the jubilation was short lived.

Just four minutes later, Terry Dunfield scored in the fifth minute of second half stoppage time to give Toronto FC a 3-2 win.

It was an otherwise hugely disappointing result for the favoured Whitecaps, who were up against the last-place team in MLS.

The loss keeps the Whitecaps in the fourth seed in the MLS Western Conference. The Vancouver side will enter Saturday’s match against the Fire with a record of 8-5-6 and 30 points.

The Seattle Sounders FC, as of Thursday, had the identical record and points as the Whitecaps, but remain third in the conference due to a better goal differential.

The Whitecaps now have just one win against Toronto FC, their bitter Canadian rivals, in seven games including the Amway Canadian Championship, dating back to March of 2011.

Nonetheless, those looking for positives from Wednesday found one in Mattocks.

“i definitely think that’s one for the highlight reel,” said Whitecaps captain Jay DeMerit, adding that “9.99 times out of 10, the goalkeeper comes up and grabs that."

“Darren took a run at it and was brave enough to challenge it and I think his momentum and the guy underneath propelled him even higher than he could jump on his own. Before he knew it, he was up to Michael Jordan heights and dunked it home, more or less.”

While teammates and coaches admired his impressive vertical leap, keeping the rookie Mattocks grounded in the figurative sense could prove equally as important for both the athlete and the franchise.

A first-round pick, second overall, of the Whitecaps in this year’s MLS SuperDraft, Mattocks is on the verge of becoming a bona fide superstar, not just in Vancouver, but across North America, despite missing eight games earlier this season due to burns on his right arm and shoulder after a freak cooking accident.

Lightning quick speed, an ability to jump incredibly high, and superb finish have amounted given him six goals in just nine regular season games.

Of the top 20 players in league scoring, only Mattocks has less than 10 games played.

Extrapolate his current goal total, and the former University of Akron standout, had he been available earlier season, could have potentially been at, or near the very top of league scoring.

“So far, I think I’ve played pretty good. Who knows what the future is? But I’m pretty happy that I’m getting the starts and I have to keep working hard, keep focused and keep scoring goals,” said Mattocks, who, according to the MLS Players Union, will earn $192,000 in guaranteed compensation this season.

“If the team makes the playoffs, who knows? Once we make the playoffs, it’s anyone’s title.”

The sky, for both the Whitecaps and Mattocks, could be the limit, although it’s a safe bet the latter will receive more lucrative offers from around the world in the not-too-distant-future.

“People maybe didn’t realize how good he was at that point,” said Whitecaps head coach Martin Rennie.

“But we knew we were missing out on one of our best players. So it’s nice to have him back. We just need to keep working with him, keep his feet on the ground, keep him improving and learning and if he keeps doing that, then he could be a very good player, not only in this league but in other leagues.”


© Copyright (see) The Vancouver Sun

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Octopuss (Arsenal) 4 years ago
He plays basketball in his free time maybe hahaha
Godspeedysick (Footytube Moderator) 4 years ago
Darren Mattocks

Age: 21
Club: Vancuuver Whitecaps (MLS)
Nationality: Jamaican
His Idol: Drogba
Goals scored in MLS this season as a rookie: 5

* He's also very pacy and has a keen eye for goal. Reminds me of Henry a bit.
* Robbed as the number 2 pick in MLS Draft (Should've been #1)

I wish he would go on trial at Arsenal...
Graham (Arsenal) 4 years ago
So who's on your radar? Who would you like to have at our famous club?
Please put the players name, recent club, position and why you'd want us to sign him

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