Mattocks out, Jacobson inMarch 17, 2016 at 9:00 pm | Posted in Vancouver Whitecaps, Vancouver Whitecaps 2016 | 2 Comments
Tags: Andrew Jacobson, Darren Mattocks, MLS, Portland Timbers, Vancouver Whitecaps
The Darren Mattocks soap opera in Vancouver has finally come to an end. The striker was known here for his blinding speed and poor touch. There is no doubt he scored some big goals, most notably his goal against the LA Galaxy which put the Whitecaps up 1-0 in their first ever Major League Soccer playoff game in 2012. His problem was his attitude. Mattocks always gave the impression he was just here on his way to greater things but never lived up to his own billing. Strikers at this level of the game must be expected to score goals regularly and to create chances as well. Mattocks did neither. He never found the finishing reliability he needed to and was eventually relegated to the Whitecaps bench because of it. He never really established his place in the team and never quite gave the Whitecaps what was necessary to become an unquestioned starter. His only period of consistent scoring came in 2012 when the club was so bad that the long ball over the top to a speedy striker was the only real chance we had of actually scoring. He never scored as many goals (7) in the three seasons that followed.
In many ways Mattocks demonstrates the problem with US college players. Mattocks tore up college soccer with his blinding speed, but never developed the touch and football brain needed to be a top striker at the professional level. He did not exactly form a loving relationship with us fans or the club because he gave the impression that he was above it all in spite of not performing. Instead of going to a higher league where he thought he belonged, he has been given a lateral transfer to the Portland Timbers where I predict he will again be a marginal player. I will not miss him.
The signing of Andrew Jacobson from NYCFC is good news because our midfield really needs a grown man in it. Playing youngsters and shorties next to Mathias Laba has not been a huge success so far, so getting a big experienced fellow that players from other teams might actually fear is a good thing. I have been impressed by young Kianz Froese but sometimes experience and maturity is what you need, and the hope is that Jacobson will bring those qualities. It is said he can play central defence as well, so he brings some versatility with him. He was number one with NYCFC in minutes in their debut season so he comes with a reputation of being a useful and reliable player.
With so many of our players suffering from injuries and not available due to international call-ups, Jacobson should see plenty of action, sooner rather than later. I think it is a very good signing and look forward to seeing what he can bring to the team.