TWENTY-one-year-old Jamaican Darren Mattocks has become the frontrunner for the MLS Rookie of the Year when he hit a brace, his second of the season, in Vancouver Whitecaps' two to three loss to Toronto FC at the BMO Field Wednesday night in Toronto, Ontario.
Mattocks scored in the 50th and 90th minutes to increase his tally to six goals from nine matches in the United States' Major League Soccer (MLS).
A Waterhouse FC player, Mattocks has logged 518 minutes so far this season, having started in six of the matches. He is now averaging a goal every 86 minutes, the second best in the league for those scoring six or more goals.
After a goalless first half, Mattocks broke free to the right of goal five minutes in the second half to force a save from Serbian goalkeeper Milos Kocic.
But with Kocic and his defender Logan Emory still in the process of finding their feet, Mattocks recovered the ball to slot it into the far corner from a tight angle with his right foot.
American Luis Silva and German Torsten Frings netted in the 68th and 72nd minutes for Toronto FC before a Mattocks header tied up the match 2-2.
In the 95th minute, Canadian Terry Dunfield nodded home for Toronto to book only their third win from 18 matches to lag at the bottom of the Eastern Conference with 13 points.
Whitecaps are in fourth place of the Western Conference with 30 points, the same as third-placed Seattle Sounders. San Jose Earthquakes lead the Western Conference with 37 points, one adrift of second-placed Real Salt Lake.
Mattocks is on course to join another Jamaican, Damani Ralph, as Rookie of the Year. Ralph scored a record 11 goals and had six assists from 25 matches when he took the title in 2003 playing for Chicago Fire.
The second overall pick in the MLS draft, Mattocks remains the leader scorer for Jamaicans in this top-tier competition of American football.
Omar Cummings, who scored last weekend for Colorado Rapids, moved up to four goals, one ahead of Toronto FC's Ryan Johnson.