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Vancouver selects Darren Mattocks with MLS No. 2 overall pick

By Michael Beaven Published: January 12, 2012

The Vancouver Whitecaps FC select former University of Akron forward Darren Mattocks with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 Major League Soccer SuperDraft on Thursday.

Mattocks received a Whitecaps soccer scarve from MLS Don Garber after his name was announced at the Kansas City Convention Center in Missouri.

Darren Mattocks quotes in a telephone interview:

On being selected No. 2: “It is pretty good to go No. 2. I am pretty excited. I can’t wait to go toVancouverand play. Michael Nanchoff is there and he is a friend of mine, so that should be pretty fun.”

On his speed and style of play: “I think all teams realized that I am a pretty good goal scorer, and I can bring electric pace to strike fear in a backline.”

Notes on Mattocks

Mattocks, 21, is a native of Portmore,Jamaicathat regularly flashed speed in a two-year college career that featured 39 goals in 47 matches. He scored 21 goals in 22 matches for the Zips in 2011, earning the Mid-American Conference Player of the Year honor.

Mattocks’ scoring helped UA win the 2010 NCAA national championship and reach the round of 16 in 2011.

ESPN2 soccer analysts Adrian Healey, Alexi Lalas and Taylor Twellman called UA “a factory” for helping produce talented forwards under coach Caleb Porter. Mattocks follows former Zips Steve Zakuani (Seattle, No. 1, 2009), Teal Bunbury (Kansas City, No. 4, 2010) and Darlington Nagbe (Portland, No. 2, 2011) into MLS.

Former soccer standout and current ESPN analyst Alexi Lalas on Mattocks:

“They just got an incredible asset in this player. Obviously everybody is going to talk about his speed, but I thought his ability to intelligently get behind defenses and use that speed to his advantage was impressive.”

Former soccer standout and current ESPN analyst Taylor Twellman on Mattocks:

“Often with speed a player can be a one-trick pony. You have to figure out how to play. If he can learn how to combine with the midfielders and then use his speed without the ball, it’s over.”

Andrew Wenger is No. 1 pick

The Montreal Impact picked Andrew Wenger of Duke Universitywith the No. 1 overall selection. Wenger starred for the Blue Devils as a defender and forward in his collegiate career.

Wenger won the Hermann Trophy in 2011, which recognizes the top Division I college player. He was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Offensive Player of the Year in 2011 and was tabbed the ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 2010.

 

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