The U.S. National Team announced its roster for a friendly against the Czech Republic on September 3 and Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann included a rising star of the Sounders FC Academy in that squad.
However, it wasn’t World Cup veteran DeAndre Yedlin, who will remain with Sounders FC for Seattle’s match against Chivas USA that same night, but Stanford University sophomore Jordan Morris.
“We have watched Jordan through our Youth National Teams and in the Development Academy for the last couple of years, and he is a very promising player,” Klinsmann said in the announcement from U.S. Soccer. “We saw him during our two weeks at Stanford for the World Cup preparation camp, and also from his play with U-23 team in the Bahamas, and we felt like this was a good opportunity to introduce him to the Senior Team.”
It is the first U.S. National Team match since finishing off the World Cup in the Round of 16 with an extra-time defeat against Belgium, and Klinsmann views it as the first step in developing a squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. In addition to Morris, there are several other young players called in for the match, including newcomers Rubio Rubin and Emerson Hyndman, among others.
Morris has earned his way into that squad through his standout play at Stanford over the last two years and training stints with Sounders FC’s first team, as well as call-up with the U.S. Youth National Teams.
“It’s great for Jordan. We’re obviously happy for him and I’m sure Stanford is happy as well,” Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid said. “He had been called in to the Under-23 camp … and he had done fairly well. So it’s a great opportunity for him. Fantastic.”
His dramatic rise began in the 2012-2013 season for the Sounders FC U-18s when he scored 28 goals in 32 matches and was named the USSDA National Player of the Year. That helped him get a call in the U.S. U-20 National Team where he made three appearances at the Toulon Tournament in France. He also was called in for the U-21 for a camp and the U-23s for a match against the Bahamas last month.
In his freshman season at Stanford, he was named All-Pac-12 First Team after notching six goals and seven assists in helping the Cardinal reach the NCAA Tournament.
Now, as Stanford readies to face Creighton in the season-opener on Friday, Morris will be eyeing his first U.S. National Team cap.
“When you start a new cycle, you want to see as many new players and young players breaking in as possible. Obviously you always respect your established players and you always want to give them the space to continue their good work, but you also want to use that opportunity going forward to introduce young blood into the program, give them time on the training field, and you also want to give them time in a real game and prove a point. Show us what you have. Show us your talent, be confident and go for your next level,” Klinsmann said. “This is what comes up in the next couple games. It’s about young players coming in and hopefully doing well, with the established ones being part of it as well.”
Kickoff for Wednesday’s friendly between the U.S. and the Czech Republic in Prague is set for 11:15 am PT, and the match will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network and UniMas.