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Kiesewetter, Morris forming partnership in attack with Olympic qualifying win

Soccer: CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying-USA at Canada

Photo by Peter G. Aiken/USA TODAY Sports


KANSAS CITY — It was expected that Jordan Morris would star for the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team Thursday evening in the team’s first Olympic qualifying match against Canada at Sporting Park. Dutifully, Morris scored two goals in the Americans’ 3-1 win.

The real motor for the United States, however, was Morris’s partner up top, Jerome Kiesewetter. The Stuttgart forward recorded an assist on Morris’s first-minute goal and drew the penalty that would later seal the win for the Americans.

“He was a little unlucky not to score but he set up two and had a great game,” Morris said of Kiesewetter after the game in Kansas City. “We have a good partnership. He was always constantly working, constantly moving, and making great runs.”

Kiesewetter registered five shots in total during the match, three of them on goal. One of those shots included a blistering effort that grazed the far post after Kiesewetter shed a defender on the right side of the field during the first half.

In the very first minute of the game, Kiesewetter sent an inch-perfect cross into the 18-yard box that Morris nodded into the goal for the lead.

“All credit to Jerome. I didn’t have to do much to put it in,” Morris said. “But it’s good to keep that confidence and score goals.”

U.S. U-23 head coach Andreas Hertzog said Kiesewetter’s success was a product of the decision to play him up top with Morris instead of his customary position on the right from the midfield.

“If he has to work too much defensively, he loses his power, his energy up front,” Hertzog said. “So I made the decision to bring him as a second striker and that decision was OK.”

When asked to assess his performance in the match, Kiesewetter deferred to his team’s overall ability; asked whether the match was his best in a U.S. shirt, he deferred to Hertzog, saying: “Ask coach.”

“I love playing with Jordan, he’s a very talented striker, very talented kid,” Kiesewetter said of the new partnership. “He always want to win, and I think we fit each other good.”


  1. Love the work rate of both. Jerome tracked back a few times too to break up some plays near the 18. Morris is fast, strong, and has a pretty good touch…however, did everyone else notice his glaring inability to do anything with his LEFT peg? He was going out of his way to only use his right when a few times a left footed shot or pass could have meant a chance on goal. Just something to keep an eye on!

  2. He was always constantly working, constantly moving, and making great runs.”

    So I guess he was the polar opposite of Jozy Altidore then.

    • Too be fair they are asked to play different roles, because they have different skill sets. And at 20 everyone was in love with Jozy too.

  3. That blistering effort that grazed the far post should have been a corner too…not that the corner takers could do anything with the opportunities all night.

    • He looks like a speed merchant and poacher to me. Maybe we should save the braggadocio for when he produces in a major tournament for us against elite defenders and GKs. A semipro beating semipros is not impressive to me but speed kills!

      • Actually he’s an amateur, not a semipro but I agree he needs to be playing at a higher level than NCAA.

      • Um… Canada’s backline were all pros, even if they’re in lower tiers of their respective leagues. Morris is still an amateur.

        And if scoring about lower league pros isn’t good enough, what about earning a game winner against Mexico pros back in April?

        As far as “speed merchant and poacher go,” you’re pretty far off the mark. Watch his 2nd goal. Excellent collection of a lofted pass, muscles off a big defender, and cooly slots a goal past an onrushing keeper. That’s a shot many players his age would flub.

      • Similar style to Charlie Davies circa 09 from the few times I’ve seen him play. I was a major doubter about him but he is starting to convince me he could be solid player for us. Works his tail off, runs the channels, constantly challenging defenders and making their jobs difficult.
        As everyone has said, we really have to see him consistently produce against professionals to really know what he is made of.

      • The 2009 Charlie was not as smooth and was not as good on the ball as Morris is.

        “we really have to see him consistently produce against professionals to really know what he is made of.”

        Time will tell with Morris but on the USMNT he has always played against pros and I’m pretty sure all of his Under 23 opponents are pros.

        I’ve never seen him play for Stanford so I’ve only seen him against pros.

      • “That’s a shot many players his age would flub.”

        Morris is 20.

        His age has nothing to do with that shot.

        Teenagers make that shot

        Martial of Man U is 19, CR7 was 18 when he signed for Man U.

      • You do realize that Martial of Man U is 19, CR7 was 18 as well as Romney at 16/17 were outliers in terms of being first team regulars.

      • Anthony,

        Mitt Romney?

        It should be obvious to everyone by now that Morris is an outlier as well.

        Good managers don’t care how old you are.

        If you can do it and they need you, they will play you. And good outliers like Morris don’t care what anyone thinks they just produce when asked.

        No one knows what the future holds but at this point, it does not matter if Morris plays for Stanford, Chelsea or Mercer County Community College, for the most part he produces every time he pulls on a US shirt.

        But do not act as if “cooly slots a goal past an onrushing keeper.” Is something incredibly exceptional for Morris ; not when he has already proved that he is an “outlier” in other games.

        Besides there are many other players of Morris’ age or younger ( Januszaj for example) both here and abroad who have performed similar actions on a soccer field. The list is too long to put here.

        And there are a lot of older players who probably could not do what Morris did as smoothly as he did.

        The point is having those skills is not a necessarily a function of being a “first team regular” ,whatever that means, anywhere.

  4. Kiesewetter was dynamic out there. With a big tournament he may find himself in the winger conversation in the January camp.

    • If we had Rubin or Rodriguez on this roster, maybe we could spare him at RM.

      Partnering Maki Tall with Morris could allow Kiesewetter to get into the midfield, though.


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