While there weren’t many positives to be taken from the Vancouver Whitecaps’ heartbreaking 3-2 defeat to rivals Toronto FC, although Darren Mattocks once again added a silver-lining to the team’s troubles as they aim to defy online bets and odds and find their form.
The Jamaican striker grabbed his side’s two goals at BMO Field, taking his tally in his rookie MLS season to six. It was the second goal from the youngster that really caught the eye, with Mattocks seemingly leaping above Toronto defender Logan Emory to head home a late equaliser.
While the goal wasn’t enough to see the Whitecaps come away from the match with any points, it did prove just what an exciting talent head coach Martin Rennie has on his hands.
Often prone to moments of erratic behaviour, Mattocks has already shown in his short career to date that he is something a bit special, with the striker now in with a chance of reaching double figures for goals in his rookie season, a very rare feat in the MLS.
“He’s a fantastic young player who can be a big star if he keeps working at it,” Rennie said.
“He’s got lots of areas to improve on his game but he’s got that finishing touch and that pace and movement that teams fear playing against and we love having.”
Rennie will need to carefully manage to colourful striker over the next few months, with Mattocks already missing two games this season with suspension, as well as the opening eight weeks when he suffered cooking burns.
If Mattocks, who features prominently in live in-play betting markets, can continue to improve as he has been doing over recent months, then the Whitecaps could have a player capable of taking the club to the next level.