Mattocks standing tall in shadow of Wayne Rooney

Monday, October 15, 2018

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WILLEMSTAD, Curacao — Darren Mattocks is clearly not seeing the funny side of being relegated to the DC United bench.

Though he managed a laugh in his chat with the Jamaica Observer, the Jamaica striker knows very well it's no joking matter that he has been overlooked for glamour player Wayne Rooney, even as he leads the team's goalscoring chart this season with 10 goals from 24 appearances.

“To be honest, the season has been indifferent for me. I started the season fine and is leading the team in scoring from the start until now. But from Wayne Rooney came I have been dropped to the bench and I have been getting less playing time, and that has been tough for me.

“But you know me and I am always going to look at the bright side, and if and when my number is called I am going to put my best effort forward. Hopefully I will find myself in a better situation, as this has been my best season so far — so that is good for me and I guess I am still on a high,” said Mattocks, 28.

But the Reggae Boyz frontman holds no resentment for the Englishman, who he believes brings the quality that a “young” DC United team needed.

“It's good to have him as a teammate as he comes with a lot of experience and a winning mentality — and I believe that the team needed it.

“We have a very young team and needed that bit of experience but, unfortunately, I am the one who is suffering from it the most. But at the end of the day, you have to put the team first,” said the former Vancouver Whitecaps star who is in Curacao for the Boyz' Concacaf Nations League qualifying game against Bonaire.

Rooney, 32, the former England and Manchester United forward, has scored nine goals in 17 matches since joining US Major League Soccer's DC United earlier this year from English club Everton.

Two other Jamaicans — striker Dane Kelly and wing back Oniel Fisher — also play for DC United.

—Sean Williams

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