VANCOUVER, B.C. – Finally, a goal for Darren Mattocks. And finally no more questions from pesky reporters about his lack of finishing.
That's what the speedy Vancouver Whitecaps striker expressed after bagging his first goal of the season on Saturday – the only downside being that his goal came in a 2-1 home loss to the Colorado Rapids.
“It was annoying,” Mattocks told reporters following the match of the constant questions over his lack of goals in the first four matches. “I'm being honest. It was annoying, but like, I never questioned my ability for a second. I know what I'm capable of doing, and it finally came tonight, you know, so you can put those questions to rest. Let's focus solely on the team.”
While Mattocks had faced questions related to his lack of goals thus far this season, the press has generally been positive when it comes to his overall play.
The Jamaican has shown a hunger off the ball that was a bit hit-or-miss previously, and his hold-up play and linking work with teammates seems miles better than what he showed in his disappointing 2013 campaign.
Mattocks' goal on Saturday was a perfect example of that. He flicked a header on to strike partner Kenny Miller, who held off his marker and then sent the 23-year-old forward in for the opener on a breakaway, which he ultimately powered past Clint Irwin in the Colorado goal.
“You can see me and Kenny playing – it's coming together more and more,” Mattocks said. “I flicked it on to Kenny, and I think he did a fantastic of shrugging off the defender and playing it to me. All credit must go to Kenny on that goal, to be honest.”
- Catch the latest 'Caps news at WhitecapsFC.com
When asked about bumping the slump, the player played down the importance of the goal and stated he's been playing well, as has the team – despite Saturday's loss – and that's all that really matters.
“I wasn't worried about it,” Mattocks said. “I knew it was going to come eventually. Everything's been spot-on this season for me. The goal was missing for me, but it's out of the way. The biggest thing is to focus on the team. Whether I'm scoring goals, it doesn't matter, just focus on the team.”