It was another exciting day for Vancouver Whitecaps FC as the club partook in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft in Kansas City, Missouri. The 'Caps selected Jamaican speedster Darren Mattocks out of the University of Akron with the second overall pick and defender Chris Estridge out of Indiana University with the 21st overall pick, giving head coach Martin Rennie two promising young players to work with. Get an inside look into the SuperDraft with our photos, stories, videos and quotes below!
CHECK OUT PHOTOS FROM THE 2012 MLS SUPERDRAFT HERE!
WHITECAPS FC QUOTES:
Were you surprised that Montreal took Andrew Wenger?
“I think I was less surprised than everyone else was. Going around our table before the first pick, we did a little straw poll and I did say that I though Wenger would go first. Everybody else thought that Mattocks would go first and I think a lot of other teams here thought that Mattocks would go first. We had a lot of interest from other teams once we secured his rights.”
What do you like about Darren Mattocks?
“His ability to get in behind the opposition and his ability to stretch other teams; he’s a natural at scoring goals. He’s scored a lot of goals already in his college career and that’s hard to find and it’s great when you can get it.”
He seems quite confident, what do you think about that?
“I like that. I think to be a good goalscorer you have to have confidence and he definitely brings that. He brings that will to win and that determination and that’s something we can channel. That raw material that he gives us is something we can definitely work with.”
Did you know you’d select him if you had the chance, or was it after the combine?
“I think the combine didn’t show his strengths. He’s not a great back-to-goal player, he’s much better going in behind with his movement and his quality and pace, so I don’t think that we saw anything at the combine that made us think more about him, it was things we’d seen before and things we heard about him already.”
What do you like about Chris Estridge?
“He can play with both feet on either side, so he brings a lot to the table. I think we need a bit more depth defensively, so I really wanted to make sure that we got a defender out of the draft and I’m very pleased that we got Chris.”
What was your first experience like as an MLS coach at the SuperDraft?
“It was enjoyable. I had fun with it, getting a better understanding of how it all works and what went with it, with the combine, the draft and everything else. I had a great time and now I’m just looking forward to getting working with the players, getting into training camp and getting started.”
What are your strengths?
“Running off the backline and scoring a lot of goals. My pace is going to speak volumes in the league because I’m pretty fast, so hopefully I can use that to score a bunch of goals in MLS.”
What are your expectations?
“Being a rookie, it’s going to be tough to compete against the guys who are already in the league. Hopefully I get a chance to contribute to the team. It’s going to be a pretty exciting challenge, so I can’t wait. Hopefully my attributes and my talents will speak volumes in Vancouver.”
Will your size make it tough in a physical league like MLS?
“My feet are going to overshadow my size.”
Were you surprised not to be taken by Montreal?
“It’s been known that the first two picks were Darren Mattocks and Andrew Wenger. I had no idea where I was going. I wasn’t surprised because [Montreal head coach] Jesse Marsch said that it was between me and Andrew, and he took Andrew, so I’m fine with that.”
Did you want to go to Montreal?
“It doesn’t matter where I go as long as I can contribute to my team and score a bunch of goals.”
What about the cold weather?
"In Jamaica it’s always 80-90 degrees all year round … The main reason I went to the University of Akron is to get acclimatized to the weather, and look where I am now going, to Vancouver in Canada," he said.
Thoughts on being selected by Whitecaps FC?
“Everything that I’ve heard about Vancouver makes me extremely excited,” said Estridge. “I can’t wait to be coming to a team that has the whole city behind it. I’m really looking forward to a great year.”
Have you ever been to Vancouver, or to Canada?
“I’ve never been to Vancouver, but I have been up to Toronto.”
What are your strengths?
“I play well with both feet, so I’ve got the ability to play on either side of the field. I think I’m a versatile player; I’ve played a lot of attacking roles leading up to college – and sometimes in college. Since then, I’ve played outside back for the last two to three years. I think I’m also lucky to have a great fitness level and good technique on the ball."
What do you look forward to?
“I look forward to playing with Lee Nguyen, who is an alumnus of Indiana University and came and trained with us while he was making the transition to MLS. But every aspect is exciting.”