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Mattocks latest on recent list of top Akron prospects
by Paul Kennedy, December 21st, 2011 4:26AM

TAGS:  college men, mls, montreal impact


[MLS SPOTLIGHT] Jamaican Darren Mattocks, who said "not good" when asked what he thought of the weather after he experienced snow for the first time during the 2010 NCAA Tournament, may have to get used to the white stuff.

Mattocks has left the University of Akron and signed a Generation adidas contract with Major League Soccer, immediately jumping to the top of the list as the Montreal Impact's likely No. 1 pick in the 2012 SuperDraft to be held Jan. 12 in Kansas City (TV: ESPN2, noon ET).

He'll continue in a long list of Zips taken high in the last three drafts.

Steve Zakuani was the expansion Seattle Sounders' No. 1 pick in 2009. Hermann Trophy winner Teal Bunbury went No. 4 in the 2010 draft, and Darlington Nagbe, Perry Kitchen and Zarek Valentin went 2-3-4 among seven Akron players taken in the first round in 2011.

Mattocks scored 39 goals in two seasons at Akron -- more than Zakuani (26), Bunbury (23) or Nagbe (19) had.

He had 18 goals on Akron's 2010 NCAA championship team. Even more impressive were his 21 goals in 2011 on a team that returned only four starters.

Akron coach Caleb Porter was looking for a striker to replace Bunbury in 2010, and he heard of Mattocks, who didn't start playing soccer until he was 14 but was tearing it up in Jamaica. It took only five minutes for Porter to realize he had hit the jackpot.

"We are extremely happy for Darren," said Porter, who is also the U.S. U-23 coach. "He has proven over the last two years that he can produce goals at the highest levels of college soccer. Now, he will have the opportunity to showcase his talents in MLS as a Generation adidas player."

Mattocks is the ninth Zip to sign a GA contract in the last four years, following Zakuani in 2008, Bunbury and Blair Gavin in 2009, and Kitchen, Nagbe, Valentin and Michael Nanchoff and Kofi Sarkodie.

Other players expected to announced as GA signings on Wednesday are Duke's Andrew Wenger and UC Santa Barbara's Sam Garza.

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