Darren Mattocks: Vancouver Whitecaps Wisely Add Speedy Striker in MLS SuperDraft

The Vancouver Whitecaps have a ways to go before they can hang with the heavyweights of North American soccer, though they took a significant step up with the addition of Darren Mattocks with the No. 2 pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft.The sophomore out of Akron was arguably the most complete player in this year's draft class—a speedy striker with the confidence and know-how to wreak havoc all over the pitch. He'll be reunited with former UA teammate Michael Nanchoff, whom Vancouver selected with the eighth overall pick in last year's draft and with whom Mattocks lifted the Zips to a NCAA championship in 2010.Mattocks was the 2011 Mid-American Conference Player of the Year and a semifinalist for the 2011 Hermann Trophy (the Heisman of college soccer) after finishing second in the NCAA with 21 goals on the season.That sort of scoring prowess will come in handy for a Whitecaps club that ended the year with a minus-20 goal differential, by far the worst in the Western Conference.Of course, 2011 campaign was Vancouver's inaugural season as an MLS squad. A record of 6-10-18 isn't exactly anything to write home about, but Mattocks' presence should help the Whitecaps improve to some ...
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MLS Cup 2011 Final: David Beckham Caps American Mission with Triumph for Galaxy

It took five long, grueling and often controversial years, but in the end, David Beckham did right by the LA Galaxy, the MLS and the sport of soccer in America by delivering a trophy to the team that brought the world's most famous athlete across the pond.Beckham didn't do himself many favors in the process, nor did he accomplish those goals by himself. He struggled through all manner of injuries, took lengthy sabbaticals to Europe to play with AC Milan in Italy and, at times, feuded with Landon Donovan, his teammate with the Galaxy and America's favorite soccer son.All of which left growing legions of footy fans in LA and across the union resenting Becks for seemingly taking the money and, well, not running. In their eyes, he had accepted a $32.5 million deal—by far the largest in US soccer history—along with millions more in endorsements in bad faith, choosing to leave Europe more for the money than for the opportunity to grow the game in the most sports-crazed nation on the planet.Of course, Beckham's charge was never to lift the game all by his lonesome self and, in fact, he didn't. His mere presence lent the fledgling MLS a ...
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MLS Cup 2011: David Beckham and Galaxy Ready to Top Thierry Henry’s Red Bulls

Historically, New York has gotten the better of Los Angeles in head-to-head postseason play, though the Galaxy, led by Landon Donovan and David Beckham, will tilt the ledger toward the West Coast on Thursday, when they take out Thierry Henry and the Red Bulls on their way to the 2011 MLS Cup.Granted, picking the Galaxy, the winningest team in MLS this season, to advance to the conference championship is hardly a stretch. LA owns a 1-0 advantage over New York from the first leg of the semifinals and need only come away with a tie at the Home Depot Center, where the Galaxy haven't lost all year.What's more, the Galaxy sport the stingiest defense in the league, having allowed just 28 goals in 35 matches, and, on the other end of the field, will enjoy the services of Robbie Keane, who played nearly the entire time during LA's playoff opener after missing nearly a month due to injury.But there's still plenty of reason for concern among the Galaxy. Most notably, they'll be without the services of Juninho, the star midfielder who logged a red card in the first leg against New York at Red Bull Arena when he ended up ...
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