Men's Soccer Notebook: Matheson shows UConn's depth with brace
Published: Sunday, October 13, 2013
Updated: Sunday, October 13, 2013 23:10
Allando Matheson has been the forgotten one.
On one hand, there is Mamadou Doudou Diouf, the injured superstar and team captain. On the other is freshman sensation Cyle Larin, whose goalscoring touch has made him the Huskies leading scorer in his inaugural campaign in Storrs.
However, Matheson’s performance Saturday night against the Memphis Tigers showed that Diouf and Larin aren’t the only threats in the Husky lineup.
Matheson was able to bag a brace in just 44 minutes on the field, as the 6’1 target man’s power and finishing ability were on display right from the get go.
The junior was able to score his first goal of the night less than a minute after being inserted into the game, as Matheson was able to calmly slot home an Adria Beso through ball with a level of precision the even impressed coach Ray Reid.
“The first one, I said to him, he had no angle,” said Reid, whose team picked up its second conference win with the 3-0 victory. “He was right to shoot it, but the only place he could score was where he scored it. And then the second was typical him. He’s really good in the air.”
Matheson’s second goal showed off a different aspect of his game, as the powerful forward displayed his knack for positioning as he found himself on the end of a Beso cross. The ball was left on a platter for Matheson, and he took full advantage by heading the ball home comfortably.
“The second goal that I scored felt a little bit better,” said Matheson, who now his three goals to his name on the season. “We’ve been doing a lot of box running in training, especially me and (Larin). We’ve been putting in the work on trying to get to the right spot. To get a goal like that layup, it paid off. It feels great.”
Despite the man-of-the-match performance, Matheson will have to stay focused, as his role will not change. He is a super-sub. He is still a change of pace whose holdup play and bursts of energy can turn a game on its head at any time.
“Allando Matheson has had a hard role,” said Reid, who has coached Matheson for three seasons in Storrs. “Let’s put this on the table. He comes off the bench. I think he’s better that way. He doesn’t like it. But he’s an injection. He’s been that way his whole career. His goals-per-minute is even better than Mamadou’s. I’m not sure he can go 90 minutes but that’s just me. But now, he’s bought the role and he’s changing things.”
Matheson is a major part of the Huskies offensive threat, especially in the absence of Diouf. The Canadian forward will need to continue his goal-scoring ways if the Huskies are going to reach their goal of postseason glory.
“I need him for Columbia,” said Reid. “I need him for Louisville. This is what he does. This guy will have 10 goals this year if he plays it right the rest of the season.”