Jurgen Klinsmann weighs in on Jordan Morris, potential future with Seattle Sounders -

Jurgen Klinsmann weighed in on the professional fate of prized U.S. national team prospect Jordan Morris on Wednesday, saying that he supported the former Sounders FC Academy star’s decision to pursue his future in the U.S. instead of Europe.


Speaking from the USMNT’s January camp in Carson, Calif., Klinsmann said he was “thrilled” Morris might step into a comfortable professional setting with the Sounders. Morris, the 21-year-old college star originally from Mercer Island, recently turned down an offer from German Bundesliga side Werder Bremen to pursue his career in the States.


"I'm thrilled that Jordan decided to go pro," Klinsmann told ESPN FC. "This is the really important decision. And I'm thrilled with the Sounders, that he goes into an environment that he knows, that he feels comfortable with, and that he feels now that, 'At this specific point in time, this is the best move for me.'"


Neither the Sounders nor Morris have confirmed that he will join the club, but the Sounders offered Morris the most lucrative Homegrown Player contract in league history last year. Morris tabled the offer to see out his junior year at Stanford, and he led the Cardinal to the NCAA title and earned First Team All-American honors for the second consecutive season before he decided to turn pro.



Shortly after winning the MAC Hermann Trophy Award as the nation’s top college player earlier this month, Morris traveled to Turkey to train with Werder Bremen during the club’s winter camp. He was ultimately offered a deal by the German club, which he declined.


"[Morris] feels he's not ready for Europe," Klinsmann said. "He feels the next big step for him is the Sounders where he knows everybody, and for us it's great because the moment he steps now on the training field he's in a professional environment. That's good.”


Klinsmann and USMNT assistant Andreas Herzog set up the training stint at Werder Bremen, and Klinsmann said he was happy Morris took the opportunity to see a professional environment before making his choice to return to the U.S.


"Morris got a sense for a Bundesliga team, a European team," Klinsmann said. "That kind of gave him a first hint of, 'How is it handled overseas, and how does it compare to what I know in Seattle?'


"I'm just happy that this step -- Stanford too -- to a professional level is now happening. I think it's good timing for him, and we get him now on a far more intense schedule and demanding environment that he has to fight his way through at the pro level."



Klinsmann called Morris into the USMNT’s current camp earlier this month, though it’s unclear exactly when he’ll join the group in California. Morris has earned seven caps since Klinsmann first called him in as a college sophomore in 2014, and he scored his first professional international goal against Mexico last April.


Klinsmann said that he had no issues with Morris returning to Stanford last year despite growing notoriety and international success, saying that Morris has made a string of smart decisions in his burgeoning soccer career.


"I think the timing of how he actually went with [Stanford head coach] Jeremy Gunn guiding him through the process was instinctively really thought through,” Klinsmann said. “ You can't expect that you win the NCAA then at the end of that path, but it couldn't have been any more perfect. Because he leaves college now with that very, very special achievement and pushes himself to the pros.


"Looking at all these choices that he made so far, they were all very, very good choices, good decisions that he made."

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