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Morris double leads Stanford to program’s first College Cup title

Photo by Gary Rohman/USA Today Sports
Photo by Gary Rohman/USA Today Sports

It didn’t take long for U.S. Men’s National Team forward Jordan Morris to make an impact in the College Cup final on Sunday and, as a result, the Stanford Cardinal are national champions for the first time in program history.

A little more than a minute into the NCAA final against No. 2 Clemson, the Stanford striker scored his fourth goal of the tournament to give the No. 8 Cardinal the early lead. It was a lead they would hold until the very end, but also add to, eventually winning, 4-0, at Sporting Park in Kansas City.

Corey Baird found Eric Verso, who fed Morris a through ball from the top of the box in just the second minute of play, and the MAC Hermann finalist drilled a shot past Clemson goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell.

The Cardinal almost found another quick goal coming out of the gates in the second half, too. Midfielder Ty Thompson sent a shot towards goal from well outside the box, and it fizzed just past an outstretched Tarbell. Luckily for he and Clemson, the post sent the ball back into play, keeping the Tigers’ title hopes alive.

Those hopes all but dashed when Morris scored his second of the game just inside the 51st minute. The goal, his 13th in 18 college games, was started by Baird once again. The Real Salt Lake academy midfielder picked Morris out making a run behind Clemson’s back line, and the U.S. international used a bit of beautiful control to set up a left-footed shot.

Morris wasn’t done impacting the game there, though. In the 69th minute, he attempted to flick the ball by Diego Campos on the left side of the penalty area, but was taken down. Brandon Vincent, who had scored four of five penalties all year for Stanford, scored the third from the spot.

Finally, Verso scored the game’s fourth and final goal, unleashing a powerful finesse shot after a solo run down the middle of the field.

Aside from the four goals, Tarbell did well coming off his line in the first half, thwarting the occasional counter-attack coming from the Cardinal. Meanwhile, in the 27th minute, Iman Mafi came the closest of any Tiger to scoring in the first 45 minutes of play, hitting a rocket towards Andrew Epstein, but the ball just missed the Cardinal goalkeeper’s right post.

The Tigers dominated possession in the first half, but could not find that final breakthrough during the duration of Sunday’s final. Stanford’s back line, especially centerbacks Tomas Hilliard-Arce and Brian Nana-Sinkam, played well and forced Clemson into shooting mostly long-range efforts.


    • It was at Sporting Park. Also, the colors were very SKC like. My bet is they had some left over from a US Open Cup or an all star game or something, lol.

  1. As expected. Clemson/Syracuse was unwatchable the other night. I thought they were U-14 Rec teams. At least Stanford and Akron seemed to know how to play.

  2. That’s great – now if Jordan is serious about being a professional soccer player it’s long overdue for Jordan to stop playing at a super low level and play big boy soccer instead.

    • Left arm, you’re the resident SBI troll.
      Congrats to Morris and his Stanford team mates. Hope to see more of Morris in the us shirt.

      • Just stop.

        SBI-readers needs to stop calling people with differing opinions “trolls”. Be an adult and state why he’s wrong – don’t revert to the laziest and lowest common denominator by calling your counterparts trolls. That mentality with SBI that has led to this website being utter crap when it comes to opinions, debates and discussions now days.

        Horsewhistle, I’ve literally never read a single post of yours before. Are you new? A lurker that never posts? Changed your name? I may disagree with slowleftarm on many occasions but he’s built up enough credibility and consistency to avoid being labeled a “troll”.

        If there’s a troll in that equation, it’s not slowleftarm.

    • That he needs to play at a higher level is evident. You and others have been saying so much for over a year, but in such a way as to question his decision-making. But, objectively, it looks like he made the right one, to wait another year – he is about to get a big contract, somewhere. That might not have been the case last year. His stock, reputation, marketability, has gone way up between his sophomore and junior years. European clubs probably weren’t calling him as much last year, but no doubt they are now. He probably has many options, worst case he goes to Seattle with the biggest homegrown salary ever. He managed to stay out of the spotlight one extra year, which I would argue helps his development more – knowing what has happened to previous american faux starlets – than signing it away to the MLS hype machine.

      There is no hard evidence that staying in college an extra year has hurt his game.

      • That has everything to do with the NT pub then it does with winning a national championship at Stanford. If it wasn’t for JK’s abnormal behavior calling up lower division players (Ibarra) and college players (Morris) then we wouldn’t even know his name. It worked for Morris but it’s the exception, not the rule. Slowleft is right. He needs to stop thinking big fish, small pond.

      • Maybe not so much ‘big fish, small pond.’ More like “education from Stanford while getting a chance to win an NCAA championship.” Morris has been honest in saying he hoped to get 2+ years of schooling in before going pro, that way he is reasonably close to getting his degree. So now that he’s won a National Championship, he’ll likely go pro as there’s nothing left for him in the college game. He’ll also complete a degree from Stanford…a real nice fallback option. The only real risk to him was potential injury before signing a professional contract, and I’m sure he insured himself against that.

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