Home NASL & USL FC Edmonton Whitecaps’ Mattocks won’t take inexperienced FCE centre backs for granted

Whitecaps’ Mattocks won’t take inexperienced FCE centre backs for granted

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You’d think the chance to play against two relatively unproven centre backs would have Whitecaps’ striker Darren Mattocks licking his chops.

Not quite.

Mattocks, who made the trip to Edmonton ahead of Wednesday’s Amway Canadian Championship semfinal first leg between Vancouver and the Eddies, will likely line up against a centre-back pairing of Mallan Roberts and Adrian LeRoy. Because of a preseason injury to Eddies’ captain Albert Watson, and on-loan Carlyle Mitchell ineligible to play against his parent club as part of the deal between the Whitecaps and FC Edmonton, Mattocks will likely see a duo with four games of total NASL experience, combined.

LeRoy played one game for the Eddies in 2011 and, after returning to the team in 2013, has made three starts. Roberts, 20, is a highly-thought-of prospect, but will be making his FCE senior debut against the MLS Whitecaps.

But Mattocks was cautious in his appraisal of the opposition.

“I haven’t done a lot of scouting on Edmonton. But if their player is making his first start, you can’t underestimate him. That’s a player who is looking to prove a point.”

Darren Mattocks
If Roberts, who was also a highly touted high-school football prospect, faces the speedster Mattocks – who also has a ridiculous vertical leap — you can throw out the X’s and O’s. It’ll simply be a battle between two fantastic athletes.

Edmonton won’t be anything close to the team the Whitecaps eliminated last season. The 4-3-3 has been jettisoned. Only one player, Shaun Saiko, will start tomorrow who started in the first leg of last year’s semifinal.

Again, Mattocks thinks that because Edmonton has so many new players, it’s a dangerous thing for the Whitecaps.

“When you have players who haven’t played for the team, they are very hungry. I am expecting it to be a very tough game. For us, execution has to be our focus. If we execute what we have done in training, then we think we can do well, and get the goals that we need.”

Whitecaps coach Martin Rennie also brought the likes of Camilo, defender Andy O’Brien, midfielders Nigel Reo-Coker and Daigo Kobayashi on the trip — which only cements the idea that Vancouver wants to take few chances with Edmonton.

“I thought we brought a strong team last year, as well. I think that we take this competition very seriously, and I think we treat our opposition very seriously, as well.”

And Rennie, who has plenty of second-division experience, leaving the Carolina RailHawks after the 2011 season for the Whitecaps job, is still very connected to NASL. he has a lot of friends in the league. And it helps him with his scouting.

“We played them in a friendly a few weeks ago, and I know the coaches from the teams that they’ve played. All of the games are available on nasl.com. We’re very well-prepared.”

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One Comment

  1. Seathanaich

    April 24, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    The most important thing about this game will be the attendance, and what that tells the ownership about the chances of progress on that front this year.

    Reply

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