BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. — Jordan Morris likely couldn’t have asked for a better return.
The Seattle Sounders forward missed all of last season with a torn ACL, but has stormed back onto the scene in his first three matches of 2019. Morris recorded a brace in the Sounders’ season-opener in an emotional night at CenturyLink Field and added a goal and assist on Saturday in the Sounders’ 4-2 win at the Chicago Fire.
Morris is playing with a rejuvenated level of confidence and has picked up right where he left off — perhaps even better — than before his injury. He has run rampant, helping to spearhead an attack that has scored 10 goals in the opening three matches of the season.
“We’ve talked ad nauseam about having our wingers be goal-dangerous,” said Head Coach Brian Schmetzer. “Jordan himself has said that he wants to continue to be goal-dangerous playing out on the wing. Well, he’s showing that he is goal-dangerous from that position.”
Morris’ early success has earned him a return call-up to the United Stated national team for two friendlies against Ecuador and Chile. He has 25 caps and five goals, including the match-winner in the 2017 Gold Cup Final, and looks to very much still be a part of new U.S. Head Coach Gregg Berhalter’s plans moving forward.
Jordan Morris scores against the Fire | USA Today Sports
“I’m really excited,” said Morris. “When I was rehabbing, a big focus of mine was to get back healthy and try and make my way back into the [national team] squad...It’s great coming back from injury and having a couple goals. It’s nice to get that confidence.”
Berhalter invited Morris to observe January camp ahead of his full return to competitive action, and Morris is eager for his first opportunity to represent the U.S. in over a year.
“I’m just excited to go in and learn the new system and new formation there,” said Morris. “The team’s playing really well, and so for me, it’s been a while since I’ve been in camp, but I was able to go in January. I know a lot of the guys, so being comfortable in that sense will be good.”
A fast start to 2019 has Berhalter and Schmetzer excited. A match-fit Morris is a luxury and indispensable weapon in attack for club and country. Schmetzer and Berhalter are working together to maximize Morris’ potential and output.
“[Berhalter and I] want to continue to help him on both the national team level and with his club team,” said Schmetzer. “A lot of the ways Jordan plays for us is similar, there are some similar movements that Gregg wants, that we want. Jordan is fast. How do we utilize that speed? How does he become more of a thinker, the timing of his movement and where he moves when the ball is in different locations on the field? That’s what we’re trying to fine-tune.”