Seattle Sounders forward Jordan Morris named 2016 AT&T MLS Rookie of the year

Seattle Sounders rookie Jordan Morris added another accolade to his stellar first season in Major League Soccer on Thursday, winning the 2016 AT&T MLS Rookie of the Year.

Morris beat Philadelphia Union defender Keegan Rosenberry and New York City FC midfielder Jack Harrison to win the award and become the first Sounders player in franchise history to be named Rookie of the Year.

Morris received 47 percent of the player votes and 45 percent overall, which included votes from media members and club personnel.

A 22-year-old Homegrown Player and native of Mercer Island, Wash., Morris scored a team-high 12 goals and assisted on four more in 34 appearances this year. He's also the first field player in the team's eight-year MLS history to appear in every game during the regular season.

“Jordan is a big reason that our club has been successful this year. He has dealt with huge expectations and pressure from the media, and handled himself like a veteran pro,” said Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer. “I believe that he can improve in some key areas, and he has shown his willingness to learn and become a better player. His ability to impact the team in different areas is in line with our overall ‘team first’ mentality here in Seattle.”

Morris' 12 goals during the regular season were the second-most ever by an MLS rookie, and the most ever by a U.S.-born rookie. He also set a new MLS rookie record with six game-winning goals and finished second overall in the category behind New York Red Bulls forward and Budweiser Golden Boot winner Bradley Wright-Phillips. Morris was just the fifth rookie to record double-digit goals and became the first American to do so since Pat Noonan in 2003.

“It’s a huge honor and  it was one of my goals going into the year," Morris told "But there were some other amazing rookies this year and they had some awesome years. Just to be a finalist with the two other great players was so cool. It’s obviously a huge honor.”

Morris is the third straight forward to win the award and sixth overall in the award's 21-year history, and he's the first American to win since 2013. He's also the second Homegrown Player to win the award along with Andy Najar, who claimed the prize while he was with D.C. United in 2010.

No Sounders player had ever finished higher than third in the voting for the Rookie of the Year (DeAndre Yedlin in 2013), while Sounders forward Clint Dempsey won the award while he was with the New England Revolution in 2004.

“It’s all a credit to my teammates and the guys that make me look better," Morris told "[Nicolas Lodeiro] coming in and giving me some great assists and just the team in general, fighting and making the playoffs … It’s just been such a fun season, so hopefully we can keep going.”

Morris and the Sounders will return to action against the Colorado Rapids in the first leg of the Western Conference Championship at CenturyLink Field on Sunday, Nov. 22 (7 p.m. PT; FS1/KIRO 97.3FM/El Rey 1360AM).



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