Mattocks and Morales hugging
Bob Frid/Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Training report: Mattocks credits teammates for recent run of form, Waston trains for the first time

VANCOUVER, BC – Darren Mattocks deserves some credit for finding the back of the net in four of his last five games – no easy feat at this level. He’s just not taking any.

The ‘Caps returned to training Tuesday after a 2-0 win over defending MLS Cup champion Sporting Kansas City. And Mattocks, who scored Vancouver’s second goal against the Eastern Conference powerhouse, said his recent run of form is thanks in large part to the service he’s been receiving.

“These guys are fantastic,” said Mattocks, who singled out Russell Teibert’s assist against Toronto and Gershon Koffie’s assist against FC Dallas, in addition to Pedro Morales’ feed on the weekend. “All of my performances, all of my goals are down to those guys working extremely hard trying to get me goal-scoring opportunities. They’ve been just phenomenal this season.”

Mattocks has been pretty good himself. The Jamaican now has six goals, one short of his career high, and three assists, which is already a career high. He’s second to just Morales in both categories.

Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson said Mattocks’ goal against Sporting Kansas City, which is up for MLS Goal of the Week, speaks volumes about his growth as a player. Rather than running straight by Morales, Mattocks decided to loop around him, which created the passing option.

“I think you saw the part of Darren’s development in the cleverness of his run behind,” Robinson told reporters. “And I think everyone forgets how cool the finish was. It’s easy to label and get on at him when he misses chances but going through one on one with the goalkeeper is never easy. Part of his development is to slot more home than he does. And I think that was a great beginning for him.”

The 23-year-old’s goal against Sporting Kansas City was his second straight side-footed finish – something he said he’s always found success with since his younger days.

“It’s a credit to him because he’s been training a lot and the guys have been working with him as well,” said Whitecaps FC defender Steven Beitashour. “You have to have that will to get better and win and he’s been doing that so it’s great to see.”

News and notes

Kendall Waston trains with the 'Caps for the first time

- Centre back Kendall Waston, who Whitecaps FC acquired from Costa Rica’s Primera División side Deportivo Saprissa last week, took part in his first training session with the ‘Caps on Tuesday.

“I think everyone can see what he’s about,” Robinson told reporters. “He went in for one or two tough tackles … he looked a very, very good player in today’s training session. We’re still not going to rush him in relation to fitness. He was at the latter part of his preseason so he still doesn’t have a full preseason under his belt. We’ll analyze it every day but he’s going to be a big asset for this football club moving forward.”

- Whitecaps FC and U-23 midfielder/striker Marlon Ramirez have mutually agreed to part ways, allowing Ramirez to return to his native Honduras and join C.D. Montagua.

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