Darren Mattocks unleashes on the Vancouver Whitecaps
by Harjeet Johal
VANCOUVER, B.C – What does a Major League Soccer player do after a underwhelming, underachieving, and an overall disappointing season with his club team?
If you’re Vancouver Whitecaps’ Darren Mattocks you go on Jamaican television, and rip your club from top to bottom.
Appearing on a Jamaican sports show called “Football GPS”, the 23 year-old striker drove a bus over former coach Martin Rennie, and the organization that drafted him, and gave him an opportunity as a professional footballer.
Mattocks did not need any help from host Wayne Walker as he inflated his own ego, and put himself on pedestal as the greatest thing since sliced bread.
In case no-one noticed the arrogance, he referred to himself regularly in the third person.
“When Darren led the team as a rookie, Vancouver made the playoffs, right? My second season, coach have me upon the bench a majority of the season – me and him couldn’t agree. The player who lead MLS in scoring (Camilo) play for Vancouver – how come them (miss) the playoffs? So you read between the lines,” Darren said.
Mattocks let the host and viewers know that he single handily put the Whitecaps on his back and carried them to the 2012 MLS playoffs as the teams leading scorer, MLS rookie of the year, and the only player ever to score a play-off goal for the team.
The most jarring statements were concerning his diminished playing time this past season and former coach Martin Rennie. Mattocks implied that he, and Rennie had a lingering feud during the season, and Martin Rennie was to blame for not playing him.
He also said that he was wasted this season. He insists that the Whitecaps prevented him from moving on to England, and that the team rejected a $1.2 million transfer for him from another MLS club.
“Vancouver don’t want Darren to leave as yet, they want to sell me [for] as much money as possible,” he added.
“So obviously I have to pursue my dreams, to play in the best league in the world, as every young player. So because of that I tell the coach, ‘Listen, do what’s best for me, do what’s best for the club. Because if you sell me, the club have to get money. And I get to fulfill my dreams. It’s a win-win situation.’
As you can imagine Mattock’s interview caused quite a stir in Vancouver, and especially with the Whitecaps organization. The team setup an unscheduled conference call with local media to put out the Jamaican fire. Whitecaps President Bob Lenarduzzi was clearly upset with Mattocks’s poor choice of words and he had this to say, in a characteristically Canadian understatement:
“It’s not something we would want happening. We’re disappointed that he chose to go that route.”
The Whitecaps held their player exit interviews last week and Mattocks spoke with Lenarduzzi and Greg Anderson on Friday.
Lenarduzzi insisted that Mattocks made no mention of any displeasure with the club. The team has attempted to contact Darren in Jamaica and have been unable to reach him. Like everyone else, Lenarduzzi is hoping to find out why Darren Mattocks would go on national television and carve the Whitecaps organization.
“First off we’d like to chat with him to see what prompted the comments.”
Despite his own inflated view of his worth, Mattock’s value on the transfer market is as about as low as Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s approval rating with a crack conviction appearing as likely as a crack at the English Premier League.
If Mattocks thinks he is going to go and become a star in the EPL after not being a starting player in Major League Soccer this past season and his side failing to make the World Cup finals, then he is exhibiting a level of delusion which is hard to imagine.
Lenarduzzi was asked if the team had ever denied Mattocks a move to England.
“We did not deny him a move to England.”
Mattocks also claimed he was widely hunted by other MLS clubs.
“Every other team in MLS wants me. There was a team in MLS – I’m not going to name the team – offered $1.2 million to buy me from Vancouver and Vancouver turned them down.”
In their coverage of the story, MLSSoccer.com pointed out that a transaction like this would not be possible under MLS rules.
Mattocks talked of a feud with martin Rennie and a new coach could help him reach his ultimate potential, however the 2013 coaching staff with the Whitecaps were not able to get through to him nor were the veteran players on the team.
The Whitecaps problem child was often protected from the media, and some of his more critical teammates by none other than Martin Rennie. The Scottish gaffer was always in Darren’s corner preaching patience in the young striker. Bob Lenarduzzi, and the Whitecaps next coach will have to provide tough love for Mattocks as the team is planning to have him return next season.
“We’re going to work to bring out the best in him. Our level of concern is no different than before he made those comments.”
Coming into the 2013 season Mattocks told the Vancouver media he would score 20 goals this season. He finished with 3.
The club are still searching for a new coach to replace Rennie with media chatter pointing to Carl Robinson. However the same media (including us), were convinced that Frank Yallop was heading to Vancouver only to see him opt for the vacancy at Chicago Fire.