BALTIMORE – Like many throughout the American soccer landscape, the Seattle Sounders are resigned to a wait-and-see approach when it comes to the future of prized prospect Jordan Morris.
The U.S. Men’s National Team forward’s future remains up in the air following his decision to depart Stanford following his junior year. On one hand, Morris is mulling over a record-breaking Homegrown offer from the Sounders. Meanwhile, his recent training stint with Bundesliga club Werder Bremen has proven fruitful, prompting an extension.
A former college coach himself, the Sounders’ Sigi Schmid is more than familiar with the recruiting process, and is the first to admit Morris’ eventual decision is, at this point, out of his hands.
“Jordan’s going to make a decision at the end of all of this,” Schmid said at Thursday’s MLS Draft, “and the only thing I can liken it to is that, when I was a college coach, I always told recruits ‘I want you to see everything you want because I want you to be here because you want to be here.’ Right now, Jordan is following what he laid out as his plan and at then end of the day he’ll make a decision.
“We feel good about all of that. Like I’ve said, it’s going to be his choice and his decision, but that’s what it always is. We’re happy with what we’ve offered him and we think we can provide a good situation for him.”
Another person that remains eager to hear from Morris is MLS Commissioner Don Garber. As the league continues to look to acquire American talent of all ages, Garber says that Morris remains someone the league covets and hopes to acquire in the near future.
“I’m following very closely. We very much want to sign Jordan,” Garber said. “I know that the Sounders are very focused on it. He’s certainly had a great college career and he started playing in Seattle. He has a family member that works for the team and we’re very hopeful that we’re able to bring him into the league and have him represent this new generation of great American players that have started and in many cases, like Landon (Donovan), finished their careers in Major League Soccer.”
The commissioner went on to address reports stating that U.S. Men’s National Team assistant Andi Herzog, who organized Morris’ trial, is encouraging young players to move to Europe. After dialogue with U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati and USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, Garber remains confident that all of those involved remain on the same page regarding the Morris situation.
“It’s not really meddling,” Garber said. “A federation has a responsibility to ensure that players that are a part of their program understand what their opportunities are, and having spoken to Sunil, and I know Sunil spoke to Jurgen and Andi, and Andi corrected what he said which was a misquote in the article in Germany. None of the federation’s staff are encouraging players to sign overseas and not with Major League Soccer. I think Andi was very clear about that.
“We very much believe that our league provides players with a great opportunity, today more than ever before, to begin their careers, and some even come back at the conclusion of their careers, but to make a good living and be trained well and to have fantastic facilities and in the case of Seattle, play in front of 45,000 fans, which is among the best in the world. Our goal is to do everything we can to have these players here and see MLS as a league of choice. We do everything we can to make that happen.”
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