One of the subplots of the MLS offseason will be the future of Jordan Morris, and if the Seattle Sounders man leaves MLS after one season he’ll at least have given the league Sunday’s performance in Colorado.
Morris, 22, spurned interest from Bundesliga side Werder Bremen to remain with his hometown Sounders this season, and lived up to expectations with an exceptional Rookie of the Year campaign.
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The playoffs saw a pretty solid sight of the striker, too, similar his run through last year’s College Cup when he led the tournament in scoring and Stanford to a title.
In his first year as a pro, Morris scored in both legs of the Western Conference finals as Seattle upended Colorado to complete its remarkable turnaround and clinch its first berth in the MLS Cup Final.
It almost didn’t happen, as Morris was suffering with a virus on Friday and only felt better early Sunday.
From SoundersFC.com (VIDEO HERE):
“Two nights ago was tough and then yesterday I was feeling pretty sick. This morning I definitely felt better but still a little bit sick.
“I don’t know if it was food poisoning or there was a virus going around, but it wasn’t the best.”
That wasn’t the end of it, as Morris took a cleat from Rapids goalkeeper Zac MacMath while scoring what turned out to be the only goal of Seattle’s second leg win.
And who came to help him? His dad, Michael, is the club’s longtime trainer. Things got awkward:
“He just came out and was checking that all the ligaments were in there, but he was kinda pushing on where the guy cleated me. I never yell at my dad, but I was kinda yelling at him there. It was just so weird that was my dad out there.”
With Bruce Arena in charge of the USMNT, there’s less pressure for young players to go abroad. That said, there’s little debate that he’ll have served notice to his suitors that MLS didn’t set him back.
Will he remain for another year or two to focus on improving his left peg? Will he be MLS for life? Those are questions for another day, but worth keeping in mind as one of the United States’ hottest prospects takes another championship game turn.