Morris’ move to Swansea – a six-month loan through the end of the Championship campaign – is merely the logical next step for the hometown kid who’s blossomed into a star for club and country.
“We’re super excited about it,” Sounders FC General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey told media on Friday afternoon. “It’s very much what Jordan wants. I think it’s the culmination and fulfillment of a dream. We’re going to be rooting for him…. We can’t wait to watch him play there.”
Born and raised on Mercer Island, Morris was touted as one of the brightest prospects for the United States Men’s National Team program before he’d played a single minute of professional soccer. It therefore came as a bit of a shock in 2016 when Morris turned down a contract from Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga.
Instead, Seattle soccer’s prodigal son decided to sign his with his hometown club.
Morris’ decision to begin his career with Seattle led to a host of individual accolades, including 2016 Rookie of the Year, 2019 Comeback Player of the Year, 2020 MLS Best XI and a finalist for the 2020 Landon Donovan MVP award. For the club, it translated into four appearances in MLS Cup in five seasons and two championships, not to mention countless unforgettable memories of Morris blowing past defenders and scoring iconic goals.
“We were always going to support [Morris],” said Lagerwey. “Part of the reason he came to us instead of Werder Bremen in 2016 was the promise that this would be a relationship. This would be something where he worked for our best interests and we worked for his. There really wasn’t any hesitation on our part when he said this was something he wanted to do.”
Morris’ personal and professional development in Seattle has validated the decision he made to begin his career with his boyhood club so many years ago.
Added Lagerwey: “If you’ve been one of the league MVP finalists, and you’ve won Rookie of the Year, and you’ve won a couple of titles and been to four finals in five years: what mountains are left to conquer? It’ll be interesting to see what the next step is for Jordan. But I think that kid can accomplish anything he wants to.”
Morris’ success in the Pacific Northwest has afforded him the freedom to carve out his own unique pathway, with Lagerwey noting that over half dozen clubs across three countries in Europe made serious inquiries for his services.
By joining Swansea City on a loan, Morris has an opportunity to test himself in Europe for a club with a rich history and realistic ambitions of returning the Premier League. The Championship is a league that suits Morris’ electric playing style, and the Swans utilize a system capable of harnessing his robust skillset.
“This isn’t a cake walk by any means,” said Lagerwey. “That said, do I think Jordan is going to succeed? Yes, I think he’s going to knock it out of the park. He’s ready for this.”
Seattle, it has been an absolute honor to play for my hometown team in front of my friends, family, and the best fans in the league 💚💙I couldn’t be more grateful for the last five years.— Jordan Morris (@JmoSmooth13) January 22, 2021
To my teammates, coaches and support staff, thank you for helping me grow both on and off pic.twitter.com/jU9yVwfJt4
The move to Swansea also gives Morris plenty of options at the end of his loan. He could stay with Swansea, whether in the Championship or Premier League, test himself elsewhere in Europe or return home once again and suit up for the Sounders.
As he’s done throughout his career, Morris has taken his time to make a decision that suits his own ambitions on his own timeline. With the support of Sounders FC behind him, he embarks on his next chapter.
Time will tell what comes next for the kid from Mercer Island who grew up dreaming of playing for a club he would one day lead to two MLS Cup titles. No matter what happens, Morris will always be a Sounder.