Darren Mattocks SuperDraft podium
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Mattocks following in the footsteps of Akron strikers in MLS

Today, our Vancouver Whitecaps FC picked a forward from the University of Akron with the second pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft. Darren Mattocks comes to the ‘Caps after a stellar college career with the Zips. The Jamaican will be hoping to emulate a number of Akron players that have been drafted by Major League Soccer clubs and made an immediate impact for their teams.

The Zips had a record five players picked in the first eight selections of last year’s SuperDraft. The Ohio-based school continues to produce top strikers for NCAA Division I and MLS like Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Teal Bunbury (Sporting Kansas City) and Steve Zakuani (Seattle Sounders FC). These three players were top-four picks, who have made the transition from college to the professional game successfully.

Mattocks outscored all of these forwards during his time at Akron, striking 39 goals in 47 games with the Zips. Our ‘Caps will hope this young Caribbean marksman can continue the trend of former Zips players that have made that successful transition from scoring goals in college to scoring goals in MLS.

Akron Zips Stats            
Player GP G A Pts G/GP Pts/GP
Darren Mattocks 47 39 9 87 0.83 1.851
Darlington Nagbe 73 19 19 57 0.26 0.781
Steve Zakuani 44 26 9 61 0.591 1.386
Teal Bunbury 48 23 8 54 0.479 1.125

Mattocks will bring a lot of speed to the Whitecaps FC attack, something head coach Martin Rennie was looking to upgrade. With lots of competition in the striking department, he could see time on the wing to utilize his pace. Already a Jamaican U-23 international, Mattocks is a player that plays with a lot of confidence and is very comfortable in front of goal.

‘Caps midfielder Michael Nanchoff played his last season at Akron with Mattocks in 2010 and is very familiar with his style of play. “When he first arrived, he was very raw, but very confident in his ability,” said Nanchoff. “It did not take long to see he had tremendous talent. His pace was almost unplayable and he had a knack of scoring goals, being in the right place at the right time.”

You can never have too much speed in your team and it’s not something you can teach. If you combine that with being a striker from Akron and being picked in the top four of the SuperDraft, it looks like Mattocks has a great future in Major League Soccer.