Zips sophomore forward Darren Mattocks drafted No.2 into MLS

By: Chris Coon

Sophomore forward Darren Mattocks was the No. 2 overall selection in the 2012 Major League Soccer Super Draft this past Thursday.

Mattocks will be going to the Vancouver Whitecaps, joining former Zips teammate Michael Nanchoff.

“On behalf of the entire Akron soccer family, we want to congratulate Darren for his selection to the Vancouver Whitecaps of Major League Soccer,” said UA Head Coach Caleb Porter.

Mattocks entered the draft as a Generation Adidas player, which is a joint program that allows younger players to enter the pro ranks before graduating.  The program still allows a player to go back to college on scholarship after his professional career is done.

The 2011 Mid-American Conference Player of the Year, Mattocks was the only player from UA drafted this year, after seven Zips were taken in last year’s record setting draft.

“We are so happy for him that he finally has the opportunity to realize a lifelong dream of playing professional soccer,” Porter said. “He was instrumental in helping our program win the national championship and now joins a prestigious cast of Zips players now playing in MLS. We wish him all the best and know he will have a wonderful career.

Mattocks first gained national attention during the 2010 national championship season when he scored a total of 18 goals, the second highest among all first year players, according to gozips.com.

After recording 21 goals this season, six of those being game winners, Mattocks became a semifinalist for the 2011 Hermann Trophy, which is college soccer’s equivalent to the Heisman Trophy.

Mattocks also became the fourth consecutive Akron sophomore drafted in four consecutive seasons, the others being Steve Zakuani in 2009, Teal Bunbury in 2010 and Zarek Valentin in 2011.

In the past six years, Porter and his staff have produced 13 MLS Draft selections, with nine of those players being drafted in the first round. Out of those nine players, seven were drafted within the first eight selections.

As a program, Akron has a total of 14 players in the MLS and holds draft day records for most players selected from one school (seven) and most players drafted in the first round (five), both of these records set in last year’s MLS Super Draft.

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