Perspective is a powerful thing.
A year ago, forward Jordan Morris was coming off an NCAA College Cup title with Stanford and found himself in January Camp weighing his professional future.
Having already earned seven caps and scoring a goal for the U.S. Men’s National Team, the highest touted collegiate prospect in some time had the option of signing with his hometown club Seattle Sounders FC or making the jump to Europe with German side Werder Bremen.
Taking both under serious consideration, Morris actually left MNT training camp to check out the Bundesliga club. Eventually he made the decision to start his career at home in Seattle.
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A Rookie of the Year award and M.L.S. Cup trophy followed, and as he finds himself back in MNT camp one year later, Morris thinks he took the right path.
“I’m 100 percent happy with the choice I made,” he told ussoccer.com. “I have no regrets -- it was an awesome season playing in Seattle. Obviously it went well for us, but it’s just so good being around family and being able to play in my hometown. It’s been awesome.”
Morris was a clutch performer for Sounders FC, helping the club rebound from being Western Conference cellar dwellers last July to earning a spot in the M.L.S. Cup Playoffs. Once there, Morris put the club on his back, scoring in both legs of the Western Conference Final against Colorado Rapids before Seattle defeated Toronto FC on penalty kicks in the M.L.S. Cup Final.
In total, Morris tallied 18 goals and five assists through 40 matches for the Sounders last year and credited his early National Team experience with preparing him for his rookie campaign.
“It helps getting your first games, and then towards the end of the season when the stakes are high it definitely helps to have that experience. I was very fortunate and lucky to have played in some of those games before entering my professional career.”
With 12 total caps to his name, the 22-year-old striker has more international experience than 17 players on the January Camp roster, including club teammate Chad Marshall. Currently taking part in his first MNT camp since 2010, Marshall has collected 11 caps. Morris thinks it’s an opportunity well deserved.
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“That can be a little funny,” Morris said of his 32-year-old teammate. “I think Chad is such a great player and I think he deserved to be in the pool. Obviously he was before, but he’s been out for a little bit. He’s such a great player and 100 percent deserves to be here.”
Though injuries and time spent with the U-23 MNT limited him to just five senior caps last year, Morris has his sights set one firming up his role with the full team in 2017.
“The goal is to keep working and continue to have that confidence. Being in camps before definitely helps me come in and feel more comfortable. It’s just having that confidence to go out and prove that I can play and hopefully get more minutes on the field.”Read more