#Hellisreal derby good chance for Cincinnati to bounce back claims Mattocks

By Sports Desk August 20, 2019
Cincinnati FC striker Darren Mattocks. Cincinnati FC striker Darren Mattocks.

Jamaica international Darren Mattocks believes the second installment of the #hellisreal derby between Cincinnati and Columbus Crew comes at a good time for the team looking to bounce back from disappointment in the previous round.

This past weekend, Cincinnati found themselves on the wrong side of a 4-1 loss to New York City.  The last meeting between the teams ended in a 2-2 draw at Columbus Crew and the Jamaican believes the potentially explosive clash between the rivals could be just what the team needs.

 “It’s great timing, especially after this loss to NYCFC,” Mattocks said. “It’s a pretty good match to bounce back on.”

Sunday’s reverse fixture of the #HellisReal Derby marks the first time the Crew visit Nippert Stadium since 2017. On that occasion, Cincinnati beat the visitors, 1-0, in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.  At the time, FCC were a USL side, while Columbus was the lone Ohio team in MLS.

“A game like this means so much to the fans and to the club,” Mattocks said. “It’s a big rivalry, so we have to go out there, put our best foot forward and give everything we’ve got. Our last game wasn’t good enough, but this is a perfect game to bounce back.”

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    Mattocks will formally be advised of the charges against him on February 27, though reports have already circulated that he has been charged with one count of making a false, fraudulent or incomplete insurance claim, and another count of theft by deception in Carroll Township, Washington County, Pennsylvania.

    “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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    "We place the utmost importance on a strong culture within our club, beginning in our locker room, and that every person connected with FC Cincinnati feels valued, respected and trusted.

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