Posted on June 11, 2012
VANCOUVER — Darren Mattocks might not have been called into the Jamaican National Team for its first batch of games, but the 21-year-old striker is doing his best to impress national coach Theodore Whitmore.
Mattocks struck for a brace, his second and third goals in the past two games to lift the Vancouver Whitecaps FC to a 3-1 victory over the Houston Dynamo in the only Major League Soccer encounter of the weekend on Sunday.
“If you keep on working hard in training and stay focused, hopefully you get your chance,” Mattocks told the Vancouver Sun. “I got my chance and took it. But I’ve got to realize this is one of many games and move past this really quickly and keep on working and stay focused.
“There are a lot of fantastic guys on the team. Anyone can be in the starting 11 at any point. That’s the depth of the Vancouver team. Once, you get your chance, you just have to make full use of it.”
Mattocks, the second overall choice in this year’s MLS SuperDraft, missed the start of the season after he scolded his arm and shoulder in a cooking accident. But he has made up for a lost time in a hurry. He tallied in the fourth and 66th minutes for the Whitecaps FC (6-3-4, 22 points) against the Dynamo (4-4-4), 16) before 18,811 spectators at BC Place.
Whitecaps goalkeeper Joe Cannon certainly saw what spark Mattocks has given the team.
“The whole stadium can see it,” he told the Sun. “All of a sudden, a slip-up at the back, or a missed touch … and it’s not only his speed. He has great jumping ability and he’s a great athlete. He just tracks things down and he works hard. He makes the defenders be honest and it’s great.
“I think it’s just the tip of the iceberg for him. With his speed, he’s just going to keep getting better. Nothing surprises me with him. I really hold him in high regard and it would be great to see him not only play here, but maybe move on [to Europe].”
The Jamaican opened the scoring with an in-stride volley off Young-Pyo Lee’s pass. He increased the hosts’ lead to 2-0 after running onto a cross from Gershon Koffie.
Macoumba Kandji scored his first goal for Houston to pull the visitors within one with seven minutes remaining, but Jordan Harvey restored the two-goal advantage in the 88th minute off Koffie’s second assist.
Categories: Caribbean, Jamaica
Tags: Darren Mattocks, Houston Dyanmo, Macoumba Kandji, Major League Soccer, Vancouver Whitecaps FC