It’s good to have options, which is something U.S. national team striker and former Stanford University standout Jordan Morris is realizing these days.
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The 21-year-old, whom the Seattle Sounders have already offered a record-breaking contract for a homegrown player in Major League Soccer, is currently on trial with Bundesliga side Werder Bremen. According to the German club’s sporting director Thomas Eichen, Morris, who made seven appearances for the USMNT in 2015, has really impressed during his short time at the club.
So much so, in fact, that Eichen anticipates a contract offering being extended to Morris, which Eichen believes the Seattle native will ultimately accept.
Eichen, on his evaluation of Morris — translation from Sounder At Heart:
“They have confirmed in training camp, what we have seen of them in advance,” said Eichen. “They fit into the scheme. The two will do us good.”
However, Eichen emphasized that one should not expect too much from them at once.
It’s hard to say which route Morris should go at this point, considering how little we’ve seen of him thus far. Despite appearing semi-regularly for the USMNT last year, Morris something like 300 minutes with the first team, which was often times quite un-first-team-like once he finally saw the field.
It’s one thing to show flashes of quality in limited minutes — again, often times against reserve players in the dying minutes of a friendly — before disappearing from the public spotlight for months at a time to continue playing college soccer; Stanford were crowned national champions last month.
If Morris does indeed possess the quality to contribute to a struggling German first-division side (Bremen currently sit 16th in the league table, in danger of being relegated), then there’s little question that the Bundesliga will challenge him far more from day one than the relative safety net that is MLS.
Regardless of his decision, Morris seems likely to continue to receive national team call-ups from Jurgen Klinsmann, but Klinsmann’s preference for his American players to challenge themselves abroad could ultimately factor into Morris’s final decision.