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Charis Wilson

Hometown Hero: Jordan Morris delivers clutch performance off the bench to earn three points in 2020 MLS opener

The Mercer Island Magician strikes again.

Entering the match at halftime, Sounders FC Homegrown winger Jordan Morris put in a match-winning display as he bagged two goals to propel the reigning champs to victory in their 2020 MLS home opener against Chicago Fire FC.

“My job coming into the game was just to try to use my pace to get in behind and create chances,” Morris said after the match. “I just tried to come in and do that.”

Morris’ task was made even more difficult as the Fire took a 1-0 lead just two minutes into the second half. Undeterred by the visitors’ goal, Morris posed a constant threat down the flanks, utilizing his blistering speed and carving out quality chances.

Ten minutes after conceding the opener, Morris appeared to have set up the equalizer with a pinpoint pass to Cristian Roldan for a tap-in finish, but the goal was called back after Video Review. It didn’t take long for Morris’ to pull Seattle back into the match, as he drew the Sounders level in the 62nd minute with a poacher’s finish at the back post.

“Jordan made the most of his opportunities,” said Roldan, who produced the assist on both of Morris’ scores. “He could’ve had an assist as well. It was a fantastic all-around game from Jordan, getting in behind the lines.”

According to Head Coach Brian Schmetzer, Morris was frustrated that the technical staff had decided to start him on the bench due to playing so many minutes over the last ten days in the Concacaf Champions League. Always a team-first player, Morris used his initial disappointment as motivation to make an impact on the match when he entered as a substitute.

“I was most impressed with his attitude and his mentality about the situation,” said Schmetzer. “He handled it in a very professional fashion. And he delivered.”

As the game crept into second-half stoppage time, it seemed as if the Sounders would have to settle for a point in their first MLS match since lifting the 2019 MLS Cup. But when Roldan flicked on João Paulo’s corner kick in second-half stoppage time, Morris was on hand to head home the winner.

Through the first three official matches of 2020, Morris has continued his excellent form from last year, notching three goals and one assist from three appearances across all competitions. It’s a small sample size, but his early displays portend another dominant season in Rave Green.

“That’s what you like to see from a player of his caliber,” said Roldan. “It’s going to be a big year for him.”

Morris and the Sounders return to action on Saturday as they host Columbus Crew SC (7:00 p.m. PT; JOEtv, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM | TICKETS).