th anniversary of the first game eve

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th anniversary of the first game eve

Mesajde lw789 » Mie Ian 17, 2018 6:50 am

Despite not scoring a goal yet this season, Vancouver Whitecaps forward Darren Mattocks is a happy man these days. "He is in a good place – his work rate has been fantastic and when centre forwards work that hard they will get their rewards and his are coming," head coach Carl Robinson told me. The 23-year-old Mattocks has started all four games for the Whitecaps so far, coming off in both home victories, but when he has been withdrawn he has been a very active, lively member of the bench, cheering a team on that he finally feels a part of. He told me: "We are playing really well, we just have to keep working on things, improving, making space for each other, do the simple things right and then getting the results. "The simple things in soccer will make the biggest difference – everything else will then fall into place. The cohesion in the group right now is really good, we added not only some fantastic players but fantastic people...fun, loving guys and thats helped contribute to our success." As Mattocks tells me about the winter additions he nods his head over towards Robinson in a way of recognition for what the Welshman was able to do before a ball was even kicked this season. It is easy to see the relationship between coach and player is an important one. Happy Mattocks + Happy Robinson = A focused player on the field. When Robinson was given the job in December many saw his adoption of Mattocks as a negative storyline, with some expecting the Whitecaps to trade the inconsistent striker. Robinson disagreed. He went to work on how to get the best out of the Jamaican immediately. "He was one of the first phone calls I made, after I got the job. I know he has fantastic attributes, he lost his way a bit last year and I knew confidence was a problem with him because I saw in training what he can be, but didnt see it enough on a regular basis in games. If you are not playing, as a young player, if you are not handled correctly then you dont develop. I told him I would help him with this, I said it wont be easy but it was important for me to make his base stronger so he understands that he has support in different situations." Robinsons Mattocks Project was not exclusively about the player himself. "I spoke to (Portland boss) Caleb Porter at the draft and he knew a bit about Darrens background and how he dealt with Darren when he was with him at Akron and I used that and philosophy and have taken his advice and it seems to be working. I have to say, he has come back with a renewed attitude and we are seeing the results." Mattocks acknowledges he is different this season and doesnt think twice as to why. "For him to take time for me, it says a lot for you as a player, of course, but also as a person because Carl knew me outside of soccer and thats really important. If you want to get more out of a player, perhaps some coaches take it for granted not knowing more about players outside of soccer, but Carl got to know me that way and thats translated now into our relationship back into soccer as well. Its a big confidence booster to know the coach has got your back, and is willing to play you game in, game out. We have a really good relationship." When asked if that is what he lacked in 2013, Mattocks refuses to be drawn on last season and his issues with then-coach Martin Rennie, saying: "I mean, I wouldnt say it wasnt there – just some things were missing last year and Carl has taken care of that and helped me focus more on my game." Despite playing sparingly under Rennie last year, the thing most people will remember Mattocks for last year was that interview he did in Jamaica where he certainly didnt help the image of himself or his club. Five months on, Mattocks says he has long since forgotten about it, saying: "I am an honest person, you know, it came out the wrong way and I take full responsibility for what I did, but its long gone and I have looked past it. I have learned from it, it will never happen again and I just need to keep looking forward." The Jamaican did admit that he prayed about the situation and leaned on his relationship with God afterwards. "Faith is the biggest thing for me. I have always put God first in everything, good and bad. There are times when people go through some trials and tribulations but I genuinely believe that if you have faith in God and you are a strong believer, everything else will take care of itself." During the off-season, Mattocks, who says he never goes out to party, spent a lot of down time with a small support group he trusts, including his girlfriend, mom and two elder brothers. However, he didnt need time away from the game. "I love soccer, I watch all the leagues but the Premier League is very big in Jamaica – they love it there – as a boy growing up there you dream of playing in the Premier League and hopefully, one day, I can play there but I dont want to get too far ahead of myself, for now I want to help this league grow and do my best for Vancouver." Mattocks doesnt hesitate when asked about his favourite player, almost breaking away from his quiet tone to shout Steven Gerrard. "My favourite team is Liverpool. Gerrard is a fantastic leader and role model and I try to emulate him on the field as much as I can. Its been a great season, amazing and hopefully we can get the title, we have a pretty good chance." We talk more about the Premier League and when we talk about when Robinson was playing at that level, his eyes widen in awe of his new mentor. "Hes a lucky guy eh? Thats why he is really good as a manager because he is played there and in MLS and as a young coach he is really fantastic, I know he is going to be a really good coach for a long time." As well as helping Mattocks to one day reach another level, Robinson has helped him get his passion back for the game. "Firstly, I have to be grateful to God for giving me this opportunity and I need to thank God for giving me this talent but, to be honest, it is a fantastic feeling to play professional soccer game in, game out, it is great. "I tell my girlfriend all of the time I just dont think I could do a 9 to 5 job, take nothing away from those who do it, but I am really happy with what I am doing and I am so grateful to God and I hope I continue to have success and making sure I do the small things right." Now a Jamaican international goalscorer, Mattocks dreams of making it to the 2018 World Cup in Russia but his priorities for 2014 are firmly set on the ground in Vancouver where the maturation process continues to be in effect, on and off the field, as he learns from experienced players like Jay DeMerit, Kenny Miller and Andy OBrien. "They know what it takes, they have played at the highest level and they bring their leadership and experience but, importantly, they are so humble and its a real credit to all of those guys that they want this club to grow. They are really even keel – they dont get too high or low and thats rubbing off on the young players, and it is most definitely, rubbing off on me." A smiling Mattocks leaves the interview with a spring in his step. The only thing to make him happier would be a goal to ignite his season. Oh, and a certain player lifting a certain trophy at Anfield in May. Deion Sanders Jersey . 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"Im not even that added up," the 39-year-old Australian replied. And to the Hall of Famers surprise, when all the math was done Sunday in the JTBC Founders Cup, she was the one posing for pictures with the big trophy.May 28 will mark the 25th anniversary of the final game the Blue Jays ever played at Exhibition Stadium and there really couldnt have been a more dramatic finish to that first chapter in Blue Jays history. There were 46,120 on hand to watch the Blue Jays play the Chicago White Sox, the same team they defeated on that snowy day in April of 1977 in the first Major League game ever played in Toronto. Things got a little dicey in the top of the eighth when Chicago scored three runs off Dave Stieb and Duane Ward to tie the score at five and ultimately send the game into extra innings. In the bottom of the 10th, with nobody out, George Bell slugged a game winning two-run homer off Bobby Thigpen that touched off a wild celebration and brought down the curtain on the Exhibition Stadium era of Blue Jays Baseball. Tom Henke got the victory with 1 1/3 innings of relief including three strikeouts and Kelly Gruber went 4-for-4 with an RBI. What many may forget is that after that victory, the Blue Jays record was only 20-28. Granted, they were 8-4 since Cito Gaston replaced the fired Jimy Williams, but the Jays still had a long way to come back to get into the playoff race. After that pulse pounding win to close the Ex, the Jays went on a six-game road swing through Cleveland and Boston. The Jays were swept at Cleveland to fall back to 20-31, just one loss shy of where they were at 12 under when Williams was cut loose. Then the season began to turn. They swept the Red Sox, including a wild 13-11, 12-inning victory in the finale. Ernie Whitt slugging a grand slam in the top of the ninth off Lee Smith as part of a five-run rally that put the Jays ahead 11-10, but Boston clawed back with a run off Henke in the bottom of the ninth that sent the game into extras. Then in the top of the 12th, Junior Felix belted what proved to be the game-winning two run shot off Dennis Lamp. Duane Ward getting the victory with three near-perfect innings of relief, including three strikeouts. That win came on Sunday, June 4, the day after the official gala opening Ceremony at SkyDome. The Blue Jays went right home to get ready for their first ever game at their new home on June 5 against Milwaukee. Unfortunately this one didnt have thhe happy ending for Blue Jays fans.dddddddddddd The Brewers won 5-3. The story though, was the magnificent, awe-inspiring structure that was SkyDome - complete with a fully retractable roof and the sellout crowd of 48,378 who paid more attention to the building than the game at times. Fred McGriff hit the first home run ever at SkyDome - a two-run shot off Don August in the second inning and Jimmy Key pitched the 1st complete game, giving up five runs on nine hits to fall to 6-4. The Jays didnt fair any better the second night. The bullpen combo of David Wells and Duane Ward gave up five runs over the final two innings to spoil an excellent seven-inning outing from starter Frank Wills. The Brewers winning again 6-4. Finally in the series finale, the Blue Jays finally christened SkyDome with a victory. The late John Cerutti went all the way on an 11-hitter, if you can believe it. In fact, he had a shutout going until Rob Deer touched him for a two-run homer in the top of the ninth. Cerutti closed it out though, and the Jays won 4-2. Cerutti didnt walk a single batter and struck out just one. I guess that defines pitching to contact! Two nights later, the Jays had their first shutout at SkyDome as Dave Stieb and David Wells combined on a 2-0 white wash of Detroit. So oddly in a building that would later be known as a home run haven, the Blue Jays had two complete games and a combined shutout in their first three games at their new home. The Blue Jays would go on to win their division, but ultimately lose the American League Championship to the powerhouse Oakland As - who went on to beat the Giants in the World Series. The point of all of this is that the Blue Jays have played all or parts (1989) of 25 seasons at the SkyDome/Rogers Centre. But June 5 of 2014 will be the official 25th anniversary of the first game ever played at SkyDome. One problem - the Blue Jays arent home on June 5. Theyre playing at Comerica Park in Detroit. But they will be home on the anniversary of the first victory on Saturday, June 7 against St. Louis. So let the planning begin. The years have just flown by and their have been so many incredible memories. Lets hope the Blue Jays do something special. 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