Coming into the 2022 season, Seattle Sounders forward Jordan Morris was simply happy to be back playing soccer again.
Morris missed nearly all of last season after suffering the second devastating ACL injury of his career, which he endured while on a loan stint in the English Championship with Swansea City. Coming back from such an injury once is a lofty enough challenge on its own. Doing it twice, while still maintaining elite performance levels, is one of the greatest challenges an athlete can face.
Upon returning to the Sounders at the tail end of 2021 and into 2022, Morris has been dynamic as ever, helping key Seattle’s run to the Concacaf Champions League Final with three goals in CCL play. Wednesday's second leg at Lumen Field against Liga MX foe Pumas UNAM marks another milestone moment in the career of the Homegrown attacker, who has well-documented Seattle roots as a native of Mercer Island, Washington.
“This one is definitely the top because no MLS has won this one before,” Morris said at Starfire Sports Complex on Sunday. “So, we want to be the team that makes history and obviously we’ve been fortunate winning a couple MLS Cups, the team has a Supporters’ Shield, the Open Cups, this is the one that we don’t have. So, we really want to win this one.”
WATCH: Every Sounders goal in the 2022 Concacaf Champions League
Morris and the Sounders are nothing if not battle-tested, with Wednesday’s match marking a remarkable sixth appearance in a Cup Final in seven years.
The last time Seattle hosted such a match in MLS Cup 2019, the Sounder rose to the occasion with a 3-1 title-clinching victory over Toronto FC, an experience that Morris said should pay dividends when Wednesday’s match kicks off in front of a crowd set to break the single-match attendance record for a CCL fixture.
“It’s amazing. It means everything,” Morris said. “We have the best fans in the league, similar to the final that we had at home in 2019, a similar feeling around it. So, we can’t wait to get out there, again, we’re super fortunate to have the fan base that we have, and I know they’re going to give us a boost in this game.”
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Playing the first match in a hostile road environment and coming out with a comeback result shows the type of moxie the team possesses, Morris said, and he's simply relishing the opportunity to hopefully deliver a historic moment for his hometown fans.
“It was an emotional game, obviously ups and down with them going up 2-0 and, you know, a lot’s been said about us not quitting, I think that is the spirit of this team is we never quit,” he said. “And to have a guy like Nico step up and score two massive penalties was huge for us. So, we’re in a really good position, but we’ve got to finish the job.”