Darren Mattocks Rookie Report
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Rookie Rankings: Injury fells Mattocks, Berry sitting pretty

Is Darren Mattocks' Rookie of the Year campaign done and dusted? During the middle of the summer, it seemed like the young Jamaican was going to run away with the award after a spate of goals and inspired play.

That's about the time the production dried up. Now, Mattocks has picked up a hamstring tweak, and even though he only expects to miss one game, it seems his chances at the honor have passed, leaving the Chicago Fire's Austin Berry the prohibitive favorite with just a few games remaining.

Apart from Mattocks and Berry, the field has solidified into three consistent candidates. FC Dallas' Matt Hedges is knocking at D.C. United winger Nick DeLeon's door as both sides chase playoff berths, while Toronto FC's Luis Silva rounds out the top five after putting in a shortened shift this weekend at Red Bull Arena.

For a more detailed look at Major League Soccer's best young talent, check out MLSsoccer.com's 24 Under 24 series.

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Austin Berry

It's safe to say this is Berry's race to win at this point, and it doesn't hurt that the Fire are pulling out all the stops to make sure their rookie anchor gets some recognition. The truth is he may not even need the help, although the Life cereal boxes with the Louisville product's likeness sent out by the club were a nice touch. The only real blemish on his record: Chicago haven't recorded a shutout since mid-July.



Nick DeLeon

With Dwayne De Rosario on the shelf, D.C United is going to lean heavily on the 22-year-old. He wasn't quite able to deliver the goods against Portland, but put in a hard-working shift in an important road draw nonetheless. Apart from a couple speculative efforts from distance, he was mostly quiet, completing just 15 passes in his 89 minutes while seemingly drifting all over the park. Against TFC on Saturday, don't bet on him to stay quiet.



Matt Hedges

Hedges has started every game for FC Dallas since mid-May. If only there was some consistency beside the rookie center back, as George John has been in and out of the lineup through injury while Hernán Pertúz deputizes in his absence. Still, he's been good. Very good. For a moment, it looked like Hedges had even managed to reverse San Jose's Goonie magic last Saturday with a late goal before Steven Lenhart punctuated yet another comeback at Buck Shaw.



Darren Mattocks

After pulling up lame after 42 minutes against Seattle, Mattocks said put his recovery time at a couple weeks and ruled himself out of Wednesday night's game against Chivas USA. It may not be as bad as first rumored, though. He's listed as questionable for now with a right hamstring strain, and made comments this week that suggested he would have no problem returning for Jamaica's upcoming World Cup qualifiers.



Luis Silva

At LA one week and at New York the next? That's difficult for any team. Still, nobody was shocked to see Toronto drop 4-2 and 4-1 results. Silva came off at halftime against the Red Bulls — he appeared to take a knock just before the break — but, as usual, was one of the few sparks for the Reds. He doesn't appear on Tuesday's injury report, which is a good sign for Paul Mariner's team ahead of a Saturday home date with DeRo-less D.C. United.




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