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SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Jordan Morris

Photo by Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports
Photo by Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports

Playing without Clint Dempsey and Nelson Valdez by his side, Jordan Morris showed he can carry the load for the Seattle Sounders with a second straight goal-scoring performance.

After netting his first professional goal in the prior game, Morris shined with another finish on Saturday against the Colorado Rapids. Although the goal came in a 3-1 loss, Morris’ ability to lead the Sounders attack earned the former Stanford star honors as SBI MLS Rookie of the Week.

Playing as the Sounders’ primary striker, Morris was chosen to be the focal point of the shorthanded Sounders attack. The U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team star proved capable, netting the Sounders’ lone goal. After receiving the ball at the top of the box, Morris took a touch to his right before directing a shot to the far post for his second goal in as many games.

With the goal-scoring performance, Morris earns his second straight SBI MLS Rookie of the Week award ahead of Philadelphia Union duo Joshua Yaro and Keegan Rosenberry.

What did you think of Morris’ performance? Which rookie stood out to you this past weekend?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. I’ve read so many comments on here denigrating Morris in order to praise Pulisic, because one went the college route and stayed in MLS while the other is playing as a pro in Europe. Regardless of which development path we think is the best, shouldn’t we be rooting for both of these guys to do well?

    Reply
    • We should be rooting for both. Although going to college is a colossal waste of time for elite players and there’s nothing wrong with pointing that out. Odds are Morris would be much further ahead in his development curve if he’d been playing professionally for the past three years.

      Reply
      • Although going to college is a colossal waste of time for elite players and there’s nothing wrong with pointing that out.

        Jordan Morris was elite at 17 or 18? ….really?

      • Stupid comment..from someone who never went to college. Morris chose not to gamble. Jordan will have an education that will provide for him and a family when/if he gets his knee blown out by Nigel de Jong. How many “elite” athletes make millions of dollars over only to pods it away and have nothing to retire on or have their career ended with nothing saved. I’m guessing the kid simply loves the game and not the idea of being a superstar. Listening to his previous comment he prioritizes different values other than being your personal entertainment.

      • Going the pro route with soccer specific trainers has a 90% failure rate (off the top of my head, but pretty close, what number of academy team players make it, 1-2/yr)? Getting a college degree is safe money.

    • What do you mean? We can both denigrate Morris for his unpolished set of skills and praise Pulisic for being technically gifted and showing maturity beyond his years; one doesn’t necessarily require the other. This ties directly to the decisions they each made, so the criticism and praise are absolutely fair. We can do this just as plainly as we can look at the two and see how much more developed one is than the other.

      There’s not much debate about the best path to developing world class players: get them in top systems with top trainers as young as possible and integrate them early into a residency program for the national team at the youth levels so they get used to competition. Playing in the US until your 20s is definitely not the way, and we shouldn’t be making excuses for Morris (oh he’s so young, oh he played in college, etc) when he’s going for one of the most coveted and competitive positions in all of sports (national team forward). If Klinsmann is going to hand him a golden ticket, it isn’t unreasonable to expect him to put in the effort in training to deserve it.

      At any rate, they’re hardly comparable directly because they don’t play the same position. The important thing is how they compare to other players at their positions. Pulisic is one of the best young midfield talents in the world, two-footed with pace, good technique, passing touch, and creative vision/instincts (he’s arguably undersized, but that’s never been a knock against similarly skilled players). Morris is a one-footed striker with poor technical skill and a good combination of strength and speed. Pulisic is a player with qualities we currently don’t have in our senior setup; Morris is just another body.

      Reply
      • Let’s look at his history. He played for the Sounders Academy his senior year in HS and then chose a Stanford scholarship over the Sounders Academy. Not an unreasonable choice. He had a good freshman year. However, nobody really knew about him until the US National Team happened to scrimmage with Stanford before the 2014 World Cup. Then, Klinsmann started calling him in and everybody wondered why he was bringing in this no name college kid. It really wasn’t until he scored against Mexico that people really started to take notice. That was almost exactly one year ago. You can’t really turn pro until you are offered a contract. Would he have been given much of a contract before he scored for the USMNT? We don’t know. He almost certainly could have gone pro one year ago with the Sounders, but would he have played much while they still had Obafemi Martins? I thought he should have gone pro as soon as possible, but when you consider the chain of events, he probably only really lost one year of pro experience. And to call him just another body is harsh and unrealistic. Bremen apparently wanted him and he’s already scored twice in MLS his rookie year. He has also often been one of the best players on the US U-23’s.

      • I don’t disagree that in an ideal world, the path Pulisic has taken is more likely to create a high-level professional player. Not every player has that opportunity, however. Yes, Morris could’ve gone to Bremen, but we don’t really know if he had any opportunities before that to go to Europe, and even if he did, who’s to say it would’ve been the right situation for him?

        I disagree about Morris’s technical ability, though. Yes, his lack of a left foot borders on alarming, but he’s as technically talented at his age as any forward that has come through the pool in the last twenty years that I can remember (probably including LD). How many 21 year olds have scored two goals in seven games in MLS this year?

        Since you asked, the point of my post is why is it necessary to say anything about Morris when praising Pulisic? Why are some people more interested in defending their “expert” opinions about development path than supporting the players on the team (the same phenomenon occurs with the coach)? Is it because people think Morris had the same level of potential? Maybe, but I doubt it. Pulisic is on track to be a once in a generation player. It’s not like every club in Europe is pumping out 17-year-old phenoms. In my opinion, most of the credit goes to the player, not the developmental path.

    • Just ignore the whiners Shaggie!

      Most of them probably have about another 50-70 years of whining in store for their lives.
      Morris has to some work to do, as a coach it ticks me off he doesn’t have a left foot, but so does Pulisic. Scoring in the Bundesl. is very tough, but is made easier by playing on a dominant team. Playing in MLS is easier, but it is tough enough, that scoring on a team that is struggling is difficult.

      Kudos to both.

      Reply

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