For Vancouver Whitecaps FC striker Darren Mattocks, scoring seven goals in his first professional season was a job well done. It was his first goal against FC Edmonton in the second leg of the 2012 Amway Canadian Championship semifinal, however, that led to his breakout rookie year in Major League Soccer.
It was his first game back since recovering from a cooking injury that sidelined him for several weeks.
After receiving a great pass from former ‘Caps midfielder Davide Chiumiento, Mattocks buried the ball past FC Edmonton goalkeeper David Monsalve with a perfect tap. It was a simple play that led to the Jamaican striker netting seven more goals throughout the MLS season en route to being named #1 on MLSsoccer.com’s ‘24 Under 24’, a list ranking the top young talent in MLS - a recognition of Mattocks' elite abilities.
“It was really amazing. I got a foot in there last season and it turned into goals,” commented Mattocks on last season’s successes, which included leading all rookies in scoring.
It was especially special for the young striker as his mom Lasmine was in town, watching her talented young son play for the first time as a professional. After his goal, Mattocks pointed to his mom in the stands.
"That's the first time my mom's seen me play live," Mattocks told whitecapsfc.com last year. "For her to see her son score, that's really amazing. It gives me goosebumps."
Taken second overall in the 2012 MLS Superdraft, Mattocks believes his scoring ability will lead to more success this season, as the 5-foot-10 speedster plays his second year in MLS.
“I’m working extremely hard this season, but the goals have not been coming my way. I’m not too worried about it though. I’m 100% sure the goals are going to come and when they come, hopefully they’re going to come rapidly.”
The 22-year old Mattocks has the tools to become a force in MLS, and with his speed and pure goalscoring ability, it is still very much possible that he will eclipse last year's total.