Darren Mattocks scored the biggest goal of his young career last night, and it may be a blessing in disguise for his club side, the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Mattocks went vertical as only he can, leaping over a number of American defenders to knock in a header from a long throw in during Jamaica’s 2-1 stunner over the USA to advance to the Gold Cup Final. It was just the second win in the past 22 tries for the Reggae Boyz against the Red White and Blue, and for Jamaica, it couldn’t have happened on a larger stage.
This gets me to the Whitecaps and how this goal benefits them. The mercurial Mattocks has been prone to streakiness in his MLS career here in Vancouver. The streakiness is not a product of his ability, but a product of his ambition. Mattocks seems to elevate his game when he wants to, and for a player of his pedigree that lack of motivation stunts his growth and prevents him from becoming that breakout player.
Perhaps this goal and the attention that comes with it will vault Mattocks into the stratosphere and kick start his motivator to do it on a regular basis. If this is the case and he wants to stay in Vancouver, then bonus for the Whitecaps. However, if the Caps have a read on this situation, and goodness knows Head Coach Carl Robinson knows the pulse of all of his players, then this could be a golden opportunity to move Mattocks for maximum value and bring in someone who can fill that role.
The one thing that any team looks for in the beautiful game is someone who can finish. I just don’t know how much longer the Caps can be patient with a player who truly doesn’t know if he wants to score; or sulk.