Jordan Morris waited.
He waited and waited and waited. Then he waited some more.
The Seattle Sounders forward had signed the most lucrative Homegrown contract in Major League Soccer history in January. He spurned European clubs to play at home. He was one of MLS’ most-hyped rookies of all time, but had nothing to show for it on the stat sheet. Five matches into the season, he was still goalless heading into the Sounders’ home match against the Philadelphia Union on April 16.
Then, mercifully, in the 71st minute, Morris was on the receiving end of a brilliant through ball from Andreas Ivanschitz that split the Union’s center backs. Morris collected it off his body and slotted it home with the outside of his right foot. He darted toward the corner, jumped into the air and let out a guttural scream in celebration. And once he got that first, he couldn’t stop.
The goal against the Union was the first of four in as many games for Morris and set the tone for his 12 regular-season goals, the second-most by a rookie in MLS history. It would be the eventual game-winner, one of six on the season, also an MLS rookie record. Morris broke out of his shell that evening at CenturyLink Field and few have been able to stop him since.
There are plenty of memorable plays from Morris’ inaugural campaign to choose from: His audacious game-winning diving header against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Sept. 17 and his first career brace against the LA Galaxy on Sept. 25 immediately come to mind. But neither one of those likely happen if Morris doesn’t buck some of the weight of those high expectations early in the season.
Regardless of what happens the rest of Morris’ career, no one can take that goal, and that memory, from him. And perhaps play-by-play announcer Keith Costigan said it best during the broadcast.
“On another day we continue to talk about that pass,” he said. “But this is Jordan Morris’ moment.”