TUKWILA, Wash. – Jordan Morris has wasted no time getting back in the mix at the club level for the Seattle Sounders, bagging two goals in a 4-1 season-opening win over FC Cincinnati on March 2, then helping Seattle to a 2-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids on Saturday.
Now, the 24-year-old attacker is also officially back for the United States national team, with Tuesday’s announcement that he and teammate Cristian Roldan are headed to camp with the USMNT that starts in Orlando on March 17. The U.S. will host Ecuador on March 21 at Orlando City Stadium before taking on Chile at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas. Both matches will kick off at 5 p.m. PT and will be broadcast on ESPN2, UniMás and Univision Deportes.
“It’s a huge honor every time you get a chance to go to camp and represent your country,” Morris told reporters after Seattle’s training session at Starfire Sports Complex on Wednesday. “It’s something throughout my injury where I was working hard and it gave me motivation to get back because I wanted to get back and be a part of that group. I’m very thankful for the coaching staff for still believing in me coming off an injury and I’m excited to go in there and try and prove myself and see some of my friends again.”
For Morris, it’s the culmination of a long and winding road back onto the international stage, coming off a season that saw him miss Seattle’s entire MLS campaign with a torn ACL.
“For me, having it be this early [after the injury] is a huge honor and something I’m not taking for granted,” he said. “The whole mindset I have coming back from this injury is really appreciating these moments.”
Morris made a guest appearance at U.S. camp back in January, a clear sign that Head Coach Gregg Berhalter still saw him as part of the program. With the call-up to camp in Orlando, Morris said his focus is now on working with the rest of his countrymen on implementing Berhalter’s style and vision.
“I think the new coaching staff is great,” Morris said. “From talking to Cristian and the other guys and being down there for a few days, everyone is super excited about where the program is headed. For American soccer it’s a super exciting time.”
Morris and Roldan aren’t the only Sounders to receive call-ups for the upcoming international break. Midfielders Nicolás Lodeiro and Jordy Delem were called up by Uruguay and Martinique, respectively, while Swedish international Gustav Svensson also got the call for UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers.
Svensson has established himself as something of a fixture for Sweden since joining the Sounders, racking up caps consistently and featuring heavily on last summer’s World Cup team that made a run all the way to the quarterfinals. He has 18 caps including three at last summer’s FIFA World Cup in Russia, where the Blågult finished as quarterfinalists.
It’s been a pleasant surprise for the 32-year-old midfielder, who said on Wednesday he thought that the hiring of new coach Janne Andersson in 2016 might have meant more looks for younger players that would limit his opportunities. Instead, he has parlayed his strong form in Seattle into a more consistent role at the international level than any prior stop in his career.
“[Sweden] are going into a new phase now, starting the qualifications for the [European Championship], so it’s very important games for us,” said Svensson. “I’m very happy and glad to be a part of it.
“Maybe [Andersson] thought I was young, maybe he didn’t know my age,” Svensson quipped.