If I’m a Vancouver Whitecaps fans, I’ve got my iPhone in my hand all day. I’m thumbing down on the Twitter app every five minutes, refreshing the club’s official feed, hoping to get some good news on Darren Mattocks.
Last night, the 22-year-old Jamaican international had to leave after 42 minutes, going down at just inside in Seattle’s penalty area while trying to beat Jeff Parke and Michael Gpsurning to a ball. The fall looked innocuous enough. Most people were more concerned about a penalty call than the attacker’s health. But after a couple of minutes on the turf, Mattocks walked off, to be immediately replaced by Camilo Sanvezzo.
After the match, the extent of Mattocks’ injury was still unclear. Martin Rennie described it as a muscle strain.
If there’s one team that can’t afford to lose any firepower right now, it’s Vancouver. The Whitecaps have only scored 31 goals this season. Only Chivas USA have a worse scoring record, but unlike the Goats, Vancouver’s got playoffs on their mind. They need goals if they’re going to hold off FC Dallas.
Mattocks is one of two players on Vancouver’s team that has more than two goals this season (along with Camilo Sanvezzo, who has scored four times). When you watch the Whitecaps, he’s the only player that instills any fear into the opposition. An attack led my Camilo and Kenny Miller, who’ve scored six goals in 36 appearances, doesn’t carry the same threat one led by Mattocks, whose speed will always worry defenses.
Then again, it’s not like Mattocks has been that productive of late. It’s been two months since the rookie last scored (July 27 at Real Salt Lake). Since, Vancouver’s been held to five goals in eight games, shut out five times.
Only two points ahead of Dallas for the final spot in the West, Vancouver needs all the help they can get. In the case of Mattocks’ injury, maybe they need a little luck, too.