Reggae Boy Lawrence relishing opportunity for Mattocks match-up

By Sports Desk May 02, 2019

They're destined to be teammates at the CONCACAF Gold Cup in around a months’ time but New York Red Bulls left back Kemar Lawrence insists that the battle with Cincinnati FC forward Darren Mattocks will be a fierce one for pride when the two meet in Saturday’s MLS encounter.

The 26-year-old defender, formerly a staple in the Red Bulls line-up, has been eased back into action after suffering an MCL injury.  The defender also missed the last two games with an illness.  Having moved to Cincinnati from DC United in the summer Mattocks has begun life slowly at his new club, coming off the substitute’s bench in FC Cincy’s first three games - picking up an assist, but failing to register a start in those combined 106 minutes.  Since making his first start in March, however, Mattocks has scored one goal.

 “When we meet, it’s something more personal. It’s kind of a bragging rights thing,” Lawrence said.

 “When we get to national team camp, you want to say you beat that Darren Mattocks, Alvas Powell, [Andre] Blake, whoever it is you’re facing on the day. You need those bragging rights before you get to camp,” he added.

 “You’re going to get that guy who is going to try his best to score, he’s going to always be running, always be pressuring the defenders.”

 

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    Reggae Boyz team manager, Roy Simpson, has pledged support for Darren Mattocks and said no decision would be taken regarding his position with the national team until a verdict in the case has been arrived at.

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    “When I spoke with him, he was quite private with it. I didn’t press him about it. I just reached out to him to let him understand that the entire nation is aware of what has happened and that if he needs our support in any way, shape or form that he thinks we are capable of executing, we will assist,” Simpson explained on Jamaican radio station Hitz 92 FM during its programme, Sports Grill, earlier this week.

    According to reports, the charges stem from a single-car accident on January 20 last year.

    The reports, alleged to have come from the Attorney General’s office, said Mattocks and a passenger were aboard a BMW X6 from New York City to Cincinnati on State Route 70, near Monongahela, Pennsylvania, when the Reggae Boy lost control of the vehicle and crashed.

    According to those same reports, the insurance on the vehicle had lapsed at the time of the accident and Mattocks is alleged to have taken out a new policy hours after the accident before making a claim.

    Still, Simpson does not want to make too many waves until the case is complete.

    “I wouldn’t want to pre-empt a verdict because you don’t want to put yourself in a position where you defend a situation and it goes the other way, so everybody is awaiting the outcome,” said Simpson.

    The team manager also indicated that Mattocks was confident he would be vindicated when all was said and done.

    “When I spoke to him he was quite confident that he would be vindicated so we await,” said Simpson.

    The court case may have a very deleterious impact on Mattocks career in the MLS where he plays for FC Cincinnati.

    Other reports had suggested that Mattocks, who has scored just three goals in 21 appearances for Cincinnati, was at odds with the coach and, in essence, the franchise.

    “He also pointed out and we were aware that the relationship between himself and FC Cincinnati had been strained prior to this situation,” said Simpson, responding to reports that former Cincinnati coach, Ron Jans had said Mattocks was not in the team’s plans this season.

    “It is a fact that he had asked to be traded and this situation has put a hurdle in his way. Hopefully, he can get through it and then start playing again,” said Simpson.

    Mattocks is being represented by David J Shrager, who has pointed to Mattocks record of being a law-abiding citizen as part proof that the situation is just a misunderstanding.

    Mattocks is a veteran of eight years in the MLS, playing in 207 league games and scoring 40 goals for Vancouver Whitecaps, Portland Timbers, and DC United, before his move to Cincinnati.

    Mattocks has also turned out for the Reggae Boyz 45 times, scoring 15 goals along the way.

    “My client respects both the laws of both his native country [Jamaica] and the United States. He has never been in any kind of criminal trouble whatsoever in his life, and this matter is merely a misunderstanding regarding insurance laws here in Pennsylvania. We look forward to clearing up this matter. We have been cooperating with the courts and continue to do so. We look forward to resolving this matter expeditiously,” read a statement from Shrager’s office.

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