The Mattocks effect finishes off HoustonJune 11, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Posted in Whitecaps Season 2012 | 2 Comments
If we can just keep Darren Mattocks away from the kitchen we might be on to a good thing. After putting himself on the injured list through self-immolation while cooking early in the season, Mattocks has recovered to be a revelation for the Whitecaps. The wee Jamaican has scored three goals in two matches, scoring two in the 3-1 defeat of the Houston Dynamo. This tally will make the rest of the strikers, notably Hassli and Camillo, stand up and take notice. If they want to play they had better raise their game.
After a bad match in his first MLS start against Seattle, Mattocks has paid Coach Martin Rennie’s faith in him back in spades. Mattocks has the ability to take advantage of a defender’s momentary loss of concentration through perfectly timed runs and a terrific burst of speed. His finishing is not exactly clinical or polished, but he has proven he can find the net given some chances.
Speaking of bursts of speed, it was right fullback YP Lee’s run into space on the right wing that created the early first goal. Houston had a huge gap on the right side of the field that the Whitecaps exploited many times during the game. Lee crossed in a beauty that Mattocks was able to finish with his right foot from close range in the third minute.
After scoring the first goal, the Whitecaps got bogged down in some pretty mediocre play While Houston tried to rally from the early blow. Joe Cannon had a great game, making some world class stops, even if he did have a couple of crazy moments with ball distribution that could have been punished (how hard can it be to just hoof the ball out Joe?).
Tonight’s match demonstrated that if a star is to emerge from the Caps line up, it is Gershon Koffie. Koffie did a great job of keeping the Whitecaps in possession as usual, but what changed was his offensive output. He created two goals and nearly scored one himself. Koffie was cool and composed on the ball all night and gets better every game. Koffie must be watching Barcelona videos!
Koffie put Mattocks through alone with a Johan Cruyff-like ball off of the outside of his right boot for the Whitecaps second goal in the 67th minute. Mattock’s perfect timing and speed were on display again.
Substitute Jordan Harvey came in as a substitute and potted one near the end, calming our nerves after the Whitecaps looked weak and vulnerable after conceding a goal to Houston in the 83rd minute. My friend was just saying what a crap finisher he was and that he was the last guy you wanted the ball to fall to in front of the net just before he scored! Good for Jordan Harvey, who has been consigned to the substitutes bench after being a consistent starter in 2011.
It was a day for youth, but Hassli came on late and performed well. Those who are writing Hassli and Camilo’s obituaries had better think again. These guys won’t take to sitting on the bench well. Mattocks may be the flavour of the month but look for Camilo and Hassli to fight hard for a starting spot. Rennie is working on a reward system: Mattocks scored in Portland so he got to start against Houston. If he has a bad game there are a couple of guys waiting to play. It really is the best of all possible worlds for Rennie; he has serious competition for the starting striker spot, and different kinds of strikers for different kinds of games.
We already have as many wins this year as we had in all of last season, and with this kind of offensive power, I predict many more will follow this season.