Jamaica’s Mattocks a gem in draft

Jamaica’s Mattocks a gem in draft
Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber, right, welcomes Darren Mattocks, left, the number two player drafted by the Vancouver Whitecaps FC during the 2012 Major League SoccerSuper Draft at the Kansas City Convention Center on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012, in Kansas City, Mo.
AP Photo/The Kansas City Star, Shane Keyser
AP Photo/The Kansas City Star, Shane Keyser

Jamaica continues to be the Caribbean country with the most players in MLS. The Jamaicans in MLS now number 14 when the Vancouver Whitecaps FC selected forward Darren Mattocks of the University of Akron as the second overall pick in the draft, held on Thursday during the NSCAA Convention in Kansas City, Kan. Duke University forward Andrew Wenger was selected as the first overall pick by the expansion club Montreal Impact.

The 21-year-old speedy Mattocks scored 39 goals in 47 college matches; he entered the draft after completing only two years of college. “He’s got something that is very unique,” said Bob Lenarduzzi, the Whitecaps FC president who played in the 1986 World Cup for Canada. “That kind of breakaway speed to get in behind teams is something that most clubs would crave.”

Lenarduzzi continued, “We’re excited about having that type of player. It’s the type of player we’ve been looking for — to kind of get defenses to not to be pushing up high and be worried about the fact he can get in behind him.”

Mattocks who is from Portmore, Jamaica, joins a list of players from Akron who have made an impact in MLS, players such as Steve Zakuani of Seattle Sounders FC, Teal Bunbury from Sporting Kansas City and Darlington Nagbe of Portland Timbers. “My pace is going to speak volumes in the league because I’m pretty quick,” said Mattocks. “Hopefully, I can use that to score a bunch of goals in MLS.”

Corneal is Trinidad’s TD

The Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation last Thursday appointed former coach Anton Corneal as its technical director. Corneal most recently was assistant to former head coach Otto Pfister, who failed in his efforts to qualify Trinidad and Tobago for the 2014 World Cup. Corneal’s appointment was part of a decision to appoint a full technical committee to handle that aspect of the game in the country. The rest of the technical committee includes Richard Quanchan as chairman, Rodill Clarke (deputy chairman), Roland Forde, Marlon Morris, Wayne Riley, Jinelle James and Corneal.

Said Corneal about his appointment, “I feel honored and honored to help with the development of football in Trinidad and Tobago. A conscious effort must be made to synchronize our club football, Colleges League and the Pro League with an emphasis on proper development. Coaching schools, community teams, primary schools and zonal teams will help form the foundation of our football. These programs are only possible with the support of the government and the business community, I know with planning, implementation and patience we will see a better product in our national teams.”

Acting President Lennox Watson said Corneal’s selection will chart the way forward for Trinidad and Tobago’s football from a technical standpoint. The president praised Corneal’s vast background as a player, coach and coaching instructor. Watson further revealed that Trinidad and Tobago will focus on its development program in 2012, with the emphasis on the men’s national under-23, under-20, Under-17 and under-15 teams and the women’s under-20 and u-17 teams.

An interim coaching staff comprised of former national players Hutson Charles and Angus Eve will be in charge of the senior men’s national team for a friendly international on Sunday, Jan. 22 versus Finland at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Trinidad.

Cuba, Jamaica Qualify

Hosts Cuba earned a 1-1 draw with Trinidad and Tobago on Wednesday to help it qualify for the CONCACAF Under-20 Women’s Championship finals in Panama City, March 1-11, 2012. The draw left Cuba as the Group A winner and sent home second place Trinidad and Tobago, Puerto Rico and Guyana.

Jamaica qualified as the best second-place team in the two groups as Haiti finished first in Group B. It is Jamaica’s sixth straight appearance in the U-20 women’s finals; it finished fourth in 2006. Cuba is in its third straight CONCACAF tournament.

The complete field is Group A: Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico and Canada. Group B consists of Cuba, Panama, Guatemala and the United States. The finalists and the third-place winner will qualify for the FIFA World Youth Tournament, expected to be hosted by Japan, Aug.18-Sept. 9, 2012.

Galaxy’s Keane On Loan

Robbie Keane, the Irish international who helped the Los Angeles Galaxy win the 2011 MLS Cup, has been loaned to Aston Villa FC of the English Premier League. Keane played his first game for Aston Villa last Saturday.

Keane is the second Galaxy player to go on loan to an English Premier League club. U. S. international Landon Donovan is in his second stint at Everton; Donovan has started in the two games since he joined the team and last Saturday, the American forward gave the assist to help Everton tie Villa, with Keane in the lineup. Both Kean and Donovan will be back with the Galaxy in time to suit up for the Galaxy in the Champions League quarterfinal first-leg game on Saturday, March 7 at Toronto FC. The second leg in Los Angeles is on Saturday, March 14,

Seattle Signs Dane

The Seattle Sounders on Wednesday announced it acquired the rights to Danish midfielder Christian Sivebaek from Denmark’s FC Midtjylland. The 23-year-old Sivebaek has played 80 league games and represented Denmark 19 times at different levels. Seattle will host Mexican club Santos Laguna in the first leg of the quarterfinal series on Saturday, March 7; the Sounders will travel to Mexico for the second leg on Saturday, March 14.

More from Around NYC