VANCOUVER, B.C. – The drought continues for Vancouver Whitecaps striker Darren Mattocks.
Saturday’s 2-2 draw with FC Dallas marked the fifth consecutive game in all competitions in which the Jamaican left the field without a goal to his name.
And, as ever in this disappointing season for the striker in which he’s scored just one goal in eight games between MLS and Canadian Championship play, it’s not as if he didn’t have chances on Saturday. The 22-year-old had a chance three minutes in to end his troubles, as a ball fell to his feet in the area, but he couldn’t convert, firing right at Dallas goalkeeper Raúl Fernández.
From there, it was much of the same, with Mattocks scuffing a left-footed shot in the 17th minute after beating his man, before having several chances which usually ended up directed right at Fernández – or well wide of the goal altogether.
“As a striker, I’m always going to judge myself on the goals I score,” Mattocks told reporters after Saturday’s match. “I’ve missed quite a few chances … the most important thing for me is putting the ball in the back of the net. I’m not going to stress about not scoring, because that’s the way it goes sometimes.”
As for 'Caps head coach Martin Rennie, he needs to find a way to get Mattocks going to boost an anemic offense which has scored just nine goals in eight games, but when asked about how he intends to do that, could only shrug his shoulders.
“Don’t know,” Rennie quipped on Saturday when a reporter asked if there was anything a coach could do to build the player’s confidence back up. “If you can tell me how to make him score goals, I’d be happy to find out.”
But while the Mattocks conundrum continues in terms of his finishing, Rennie said that the player’s effort level showed an improvement despite his lack of incision around the box.
“One thing I’ve kind of questioned a little bit is that work rate for the team,” he said. “His work rate for the team today was by far the highest that he’s shown yet. His running of the channels, his closing people down was what we were looking for, and as a result of that he got many chances.
“Some days they don’t go in, and some days they do.”