Darren Mattocks, a former hot-shot with Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz, is eagerly aiming for a recall to Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz following his move to USL Championship club Phoenix Rising FC in the United States yesterday (18 August).
The Portmore-born striker’s transfer is subject to league and federation approval, with only one blip on an otherwise exemplary period in the US. Last year he was accused of making a false, fraudulent or incomplete insurance claim and theft by deception in Pennsylvania.
Mattocks enjoyed a glittering career in the North American MLS since joining the Vancouver Whitecaps for four seasons in 2012. He joined Sudan Premier side Al-Merrikh SC alongside fellow Jamaican Alvas Powell this year, but failed to make an appearance.
The 30-year-old, overlooked by Jamaica head coach Theodore Whitmore for the recent whistlestop tour of Japan and the CONCACAF Gold Cup, had a successful season apiece in the US with Portland Timbers, DC United and FC Cincinnati.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic crisis, Mattocks has not played a competitive match since 2019 that took his MLS statistics to 182 appearances with 37 strikes and 14 goal assists.
Ever enthusiastic Mattocks told USLChampionship.com: “I am very excited and grateful for the opportunity to join Phoenix Rising FC.
“I look forward to getting to work right away and helping the team achieve its goal of winning the Championship this season.”
Phoenix Rising FC head coach Rick Schantz mirrored Mattocks’ words and said to the website: “Darren gives us another very dynamic player who can create his own opportunities, and he also has the speed to be very dangerous.
“His ability, experience and understanding of the game will help us in our push for trophies. My hope is he can earn his way back into the Jamaican national team.”
Mattocks has always enjoyed the big stage with the Reggae Boyz, having finished joint top scorer when Jamaica were crowned the 2014 Caribbean Cup winners and scoring against the US and Mexico in the 2015 Gold Cup.
However, it appears a step too far to expect Mattocks to be recalled by Whitmore who admitted recently that he urgently requires a fearless out-and-out striker for next month’s FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Mattocks has never been afraid to unnerve defenders and jostle for goals, but unless he rapidly puts his scoring boots back on in the North American second tier of the UCL then he will arguably be seen by Whitmore as winding down his career.
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