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Sounders offer Morris largest Homegrown contract in MLS history

Jordan Morris USA Canada OLY (Getty Images)

In pursuit of Jordan Morris, the Seattle Sounders are more than prepared to pay out a record-breaking deal.

Sounders general manager Garth Lagerway announced Wednesday that the Sounders have offered the Stanford star the richest Homegrown Player contract in MLS history. As things stand, LA Galaxy star and fellow U.S. Men’s National Team forward Gyasi Zardes is currently the highest paid Homegrown player in the league at $223,000 in guaranteed compensation.

“It’s up to Jordan,” Lagerwey said. “Jordan will come out when he wants to come out, and he’ll go where he wants to go. We hope he signs with us, but it’s out of our control.”

Lagerway went on to say that the club is “confident we have have a feel” for where Morris intends to go, although rules prevent the club from talking with the forward until the conclusion of the NCAA season in December.

Morris, who recently appeared for the USMNT against St. Vincent & the Grenadines, has made seven appearances for the senior team this season while also leading the way in Olympic qualifying for the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team.

What do you think of Lagerway’s statement? Expect Morris to take the deal? Where should Morris take his professional career?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. At this point it’s too late for him. He already wasted three years of development playing college ball and he’s never getting those back. One more year won’t make or brake his career which will most likely be spent in MLS.

      • Nate – it’s not that you can never become a good player after spending four years in college but it certainly doesn’t help to do so. It’s just a ridiculously low level for a kid with Morris’s ability to be playing at.

      • sla,

        i agree with you; just thought rob’s doom-and-gloom comment was funny, considering (if morris signs with seattle this year) he’s following the exact same path as dempsey so far.

    • Dempsey, the exception that proves the rule.
      In the great scheme of things Dempsey was a mediocre player.
      Maybe it’s time to up our expectations. How much better would’ve Dempsey become if he’d spent an extra four years developing as a player in a professional environment? We will never know just like we will never know with Morris.
      An extra year spent getting a degree from Stanford is not going to make or break his soccer career, a career that it’s just one clumsy tackle away from being over.

      • “In the great scheme of things Dempsey was a mediocre player.”

        maybe. but in practicality, we’d love to have another dempsey emerging right now.

        “How much better would’ve Dempsey become if he’d spent an extra four years developing as a player in a professional environment?”

        his cockiness would’ve overcome his work ethic and he’d become another freddy adu. or he would’ve been our first world-class player. or he would’ve been the same player he is now, but declining 4 years earlier. or something else entirely, because as you said, we’ll never know.

        if i had my way, no potential u.s. soccer player would ever go to college, because that provides me with no entertainment, but that’s beside the point.

        the point of my reply to you was simply that there’s no way to say that it’s over for morris, just like it wasn’t over for dempsey.

      • Dempsey mediocre? Well, depends on your frame of reference. His rate of scoring is even higher than Donovan’s, the highest of any US player ever for the national team. Most goals scored in a top European league of any US player ever, and most of those goals were scored as a midfielder. That’s not mediocre for US players. Compared to Ronaldo and Messi, then he’s mediocre.

  2. had no idea he was already 21; i’ve been thinking he was 18-19, for some reason.

    not trying to make a value judgement on the topic either way, but college sure has a way of throwing off how we compare our “young players” to those of other nations.

  3. So, how much are they offering him again?

    Why come out and say the offer is the highest like that’s some big deal. It should be the highest, right? How much higher?

    Could they not announce a figure, or was it a choice?

      • I care because that’s the kind of person I am, always caring about things.

        If they could’ve announced a figure and chose not to, it makes me wonder why come out and say anything like this at all.

        Is this some kind of tactic to put public opinion pressure on Morris? Couldn’t addressing this topic wait until after the college soccer season concludes in a couple weeks?

        Of course Morris would be offered the largest Homegrown contract, he’s a USMNT player already, and well ahead of where Zardes was when he signed with LAG.

  4. He needs to turn pro immediately. Best would be if he went to Europe for equal or better money and better competition. I was hoping that Earnie Stewart would sign him for Alkmaar, then Stewart had to go and take the job at Philly. Well, maybe Klinsmann can use his contacts to get him a good offer from a decent European league.

  5. The figure cited above is Zardes’ deal. There is no telling what they offered Morris. It could be just a tick more, or it could be a million more. Everyone is assuming it’s right around the same, but it could be quite a bit more.

    I don’t think it matters much what he decides to do. God forbid it doesn’t pan out, he’ll have enough in the bank to give him time to finish his degree at some point. I can’t imagine playing for the MNT, on a consistent basis, and simply try to go back to stats class the next week. Good on him if he has the capacity to compartmentalize his life enough to stay through his senior year, but I’d take this deal or another.

  6. Oh my Lord the Whining.
    Quit whining.

    The turf is going nowhere.
    Don’t watch the Sounders, just quit whining

    Ps Pro-Rel isn’t happening either…ever
    (Preemptive whining stopper)

    • I can see pro/rel happening in a limited universe of teams, but it is probably 25 years away or so especially if NASL gets stronger. I don’t want the baseball system with 36 teams and a ton of developmental teams.

    • Yeah, I really want to know how the NCAA rules work with MLS homegrown rules and negotiating contracts. I know that the rules vary from sport to sport. In basketball, if you declare for the draft, you are ineligible. In baseball and hockey, you can get drafted in highschool and offered a contract, but still go to college if you don’t sign. In hockey, you can get drafted in high school or freshman year of college, and still play college hockey. The teams that drafts you owns you right as long as you sign by a certain time (which I think is your 21st bday).

      • Players are free to have discussions with agents and pro teams, however, they are unable to agree to any sort of contract or commitment. The homegrown rule muddies the waters a bit since some college players can sign directly without having to “declare” for an open draft so its all a grey area and is compounded by the fact that there’s no way NCAA can properly oversee/enforce these things.

        What i really don’t understand is why the team came out and said something publicly at this time. It really puts JM in a tough spot and brings the NCAA spotlight on to him, especially during the tournament. Couldn’t this wait a few weeks until the tournament is over? Even if it couldn’t make the offer quietly, no?

      • Sounders are looking for some good news to share with their fans since their season ended in disappointment again. Looking to drive up moral and season tickets among their fan base. Sure we lost this year but with Martins, Dempsey, and Morris how can we go wrong next year.

  7. I think they went public with it to hype the very low number that is an MLS contract. Any of his classmates from the basketball or football teams would laugh at a 250k contract offer to leave school. It’s a negotiating tactic by the Sounders, who could very likely lose his rights if he turns their offer down.

    • Don’t think you can compare the offers made to young professional soccer players in this country to the ones made to young professional football and basketball players. Soccer is nowhere near the commercial draw that football and basketball are. The money just isn’t there for MLS to through crazy money at young talent. 250k is the best that could be done at this stage of the game in our country. Really is apples to oranges.

  8. Dumb if he doesn’t take it. Totally negates the college degree. Anyone with ounce of ambition can thrive after pulling 1/4 million a year. He’s going places.

    • Did you go to Stanford? Because it seems pretty presumptious to think you know more about “business” sense than a 20-something Stanford student who has already been offered a bigger contract than 99.9% of people will see in their lifetimes.

      Ever cross your mind that the kid might be intelligent?

      • Cravin,

        There are a lot of issues here. As a summary, here are a few of the keys issues: (1) what would be the comparable offers from competitors, (2) does he have any interest in laying abroad, (3) developmental opportunities and (4) opportunities costs from leaving Stanford.

        $225/250/275 K is nice chunk of change, but he can get more on a low end contract in Netherlands, France, Germany etc. The problem is that he falls into gray zone in Europe because at 21, you are already on a professional contract and cannot sign on a youth contract. Teams are less likely to sign a player without professional experience. That being said, JK playing him in friendlies and tournaments makes him attractive, but it does not indicate if he can deal with the grind of a club team.

        However, word is, according to Ives, he does not want to go to Europe now. So they argument is staying in Stanford or dropping out early to sign with Seattle. As long as the contract he gets covered his lost scholarship plus an excellent living salary (Stanford is about $50K/year) for the next 2/3 years, can finish his Stanford degree part-time and he gets good developmental opportunity, he should go. According to my estimates, that is at least $250K a year.

        I went to a similar school as Stanford (I went to a northeast Ivy League school with a solid soccer program). Although, all my friends make 6 figure incomes, none of us did at 21-24 except for the bankers. As long as you have done a bulk of the school work, and Stanford will let you finish the last 1 – 1.5 years part time, GO!

  9. Making this offer public seems very unprofessional. It really pressures the kid into a bad situation. If he turns it down, and doesn’t move to a better place he looks bad. If he signs and doesn’t live up to his potential, it’s a fail. Hope he proves it all wrong and lives up to his potential.

    • An excellent comment.

      People look at this kid like an “idiot”, politely ignoring the fact that he is almost certainly smarter than them by the same margin he is better at soccer than them. Has this guy not aready surprised you enough? Are you somehow qualified to “step in” and say what’s right for him, after all he has already disproven about what you think you know?

  10. Only Seattle can throw ridiculous money at their players but also claim they can’t afford to maintain a grass playing surface.
    I hope Jordan likes playing soccer ping pong.

    • Heyyyy hey heyyyyyyyyyy…. I hate the turf as much as anyone but…… 223k is a far cry from ridiculous money in pro sports… and even further removed from from the money it would take to build their own stadium…. that is what it is going to take to play on grass at home.


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