Jamaica men’s senior team and Vancouver Whitecaps striker Darren Mattocks says he is ready to work with new Reggae Boyz coach Winfried ‘Winnie’ Schafer in moving the nation’s football forward.
Mattocks is back in training with the Whitecaps after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery last week Thursday.
“It is good to have a different perspective, and the new coach has a big résumé. I am eager to see what he has to offer to Jamaica’s football moving forward,” Mattocks told Star Sports when contacted in Canada yesterday afternoon.
Schafer was appointed new Reggae Boyz head coach last month following the resignation of Theodore ‘Tappa’ Whitmore from that position, after Jamaica went down 2-0 to Honduras in June, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
Jamaica lost their fourth consecutive game in the hexagonal CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers and are rooted to the bottom of the group on two points from six games. With four games remaining, Jamaica has a slim chance of advancing to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The Reggae Boyz’s next game in the series is a return encounter against Panama in September, in Panama City.
“We still have a chance of making the World Cup. We have to be focused on the task, it is difficult but not impossible,” he pointed out.
“We have to work with the new coach on the road forward,” the 22-year-old Mattocks emphasised.
With regards to his speedy recovery after the knee surgery, Mattocks said, “I started training today (yesterday). It comes as a surprise, but I may play as early as next weekend (August 10) against San José Earthquakes.”
Mattocks has struggled in his second Major League Soccer season after shining as a rookie. He has started just six of the 13 games in which he has appeared, recording three goals and one assist.
He did not travel to Vancouver’s last game in Los Angeles because of the knee injury. He will also miss his team’s game against Portland Timbers today.
Mattocks’ knee started bothering him in the warm-up before Vancouver’s game against Chicago three weeks ago, but he still came on as a substitute in the final two minutes. Then it swelled up.