ORLANDO, Fla. – Vancouver Whitecaps forward Darren Mattocks chose to dedicate his first goal against the Montreal Impact to … the Montreal Impact.
“They didn’t choose me No. 1 [in the SuperDraft] and I showed them they made a mistake,” the Jamaican striker said after the match. “I had it in the back of my mind.”
Mattocks’s 70th minute blast which overpowered Montreal goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts was the second goal in a 3-0 blanking of Vancouver’s Canadian rivals on Friday night in the second match of the Disney Pro Soccer Classic. But it meant a lot more than your run-of-the-mill preseason goal.
Numerous experts had Mattocks going as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 SuperDraft in January, but the Montreal Impact instead chose Duke’s Andrew Wenger. Mattocks wanted to make sure he made them pay for it on Friday at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
So if his blistering left-footed strike that found the roof of the net had a little extra juice on it, you can understand why.
“At the end of the day, that’s my competitive edge,” Mattocks told MLSsoccer.com. “I think I was the best player in the draft without a doubt. I mean I’m not talking about it. It’s reality. So it’s pretty good. They made a choice and went with Andrew. And that’s fine with me.”
The goal came just three minutes after Wenger had entered the match seeking to boost the Impact’s fortunes in attack. But it would not mark a memorable spell for Wenger, who came as part of a flurry of subs by Impact manager Jesse Marsch midway through the second half.
Mattocks’s strike put the game out of reach. New arrival Sebastien Le Toux was the provider and the Akron University product did the rest, redeeming himself for what had been a frustrating evening to that point after a smattering of botched plays.
He celebrated by pointing to the sky and displaying a heart shape with his hands following the celebration with his teammates on the Whitecaps bench.
“Whatever your heart can conceive, you can achieve,” said Mattocks, adding a poet’s touch to a night that he will remember as poetic justice.
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