Vancouver Whitecaps' Martin Rennie on Nigel Reo-Coker's comments: Criticism can't leave locker room

VANCOUVER, B.C. -- It’s not often you score a Goal of the Week contender and then end up the focus of a teammate’s criticism, but that’s exactly what happened to Vancouver Whitecaps striker Darren Mattocks on Saturday.

Immediately following the 2-1 defeat to the Houston Dynamo, midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker suggested the team’s young star should have passed rather than shot on a play in the 53rd minute.

Reo-Coker labeled his discussion of the Jamaican’s alleged misplay as “constructive criticism” at the time, but fans who enjoyed a rare bit of brutal honesty from a professional athlete should relish that moment – head coach Martin Rennie said on Monday that while he has no problem with criticism internally, he doesn’t expect those conversations to leave the dressing room.

Vote now for MLS Goal of the Week: Week 4

“That’s not something we’ll be doing too much of,” Rennie responded following a training session at the University of British Columbia when asked about Reo-Coker’s comments on the weekend’s radio broadcast. “In terms of communicating directly within the team, yes, that has to be clear what we expect. But publicly, no.”

Rennie added the moments immediately following a final whistle aren’t ideal for in-depth reflection – it takes time for the emotions of a match to dissipate.

“We obviously all analyze it,” Rennie said. “We go through it in detail. Some people do it after the game, but usually we do it after a day or so, when we have a chance to do it without emotion. At that point, we can really be clear on what we’ve done.”

READ: Find out how Vancouver's Kenny Miller and other MLS players performed in the latest international games

Central defender Andy O’Brien went one step further, suggesting Mattocks’ missed opportunity was more down to a top stop from Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall rather than a failure on the part of his teammate – and stated it’s only natural that a striker would go for goal rather than look to make a pass.

“In the media, it’s more about the one [he missed],” O’Brien lamented. “And it wasn’t even a miss, it was a save. I would say, talk about his goal. Strikers are very selfish. The most successful striker I ever played with was Alan Shearer.

“He was very selfish and he wouldn’t have passed it in that position.”