The EFL Championship is the second division of English soccer, but the level of the league is that of a top-flight league, which is why it shouldn’t be considered a guarantee that any newcomer will arrive and light the league on fire.
Jordan Morris is set to arrive in the league this month, with Swansea City having announced his loan signing last Friday from the Seattle Sounders, acquiring him for the remainder of the EFL Championship season. Morris has been linked to the club for weeks, and has now secured his move to England with the Swans in the thick of the race to gain promotion to the English Premier League.
After excelling as one of the top MLS wingers for the last few seasons, Morris now takes his talents to Swansea City, a team itching to get back to the Premier League. The Swans were relegated back in 2018 and have found it tough to get back to the bright lights of one of the top leagues in the world.
Attacking depth has been an issue so far this season, despite the Swans sitting in second place through 24 matches. Jamal Lowe and Andre Ayew have combined for 17 league goals between them this season, but outside of those two, Swansea City has only scored additional 12 goals.
Morris’ ability to not only score from the wing position, but also set up his teammates and create chances, gives Cooper a talented veteran who can link up in his attacking front.
“It’s a different challenge for Jordan, but we are looking forward to working with him,” Cooper said in an interview Friday. “You need strength in depth with this schedule we are going through, but it is not just about numbers, it is about having the quality and a good level of player.
“I expect all those players are going to push each other. He has the speed to threaten in behind defenses, which is something we like in our team.”
Since his recovery from a torn ACL in 2018, Morris has been one of the top American players in the U.S. Men’s National Team field, scoring 24 goals and registering 17 assists while helping the Sounders lift the 2019 MLS Cup and reach the final in 2020. He has shown consistent improvement as he has learned the finer points of playing on the wing, a major reason why Swansea City came knocking this winter.
Cooper has mainly used a 3-4-1-2 formation this season, another element for Morris to shine in going forward. His ability to get up field and create chances is leveled by his willingness to track back and defend for the good of the team.
Defensively, Swansea City has been the best in the Championship, conceding only 13 goals from 24 matches played. Outside of Lowe and Ayew though, the Swans have been searching for help in attack and Morris’ arrival should help provide an offensive boost for the rest of the season.
Morris’ loan only runs through the end of the current season, but if he plays a key role in helping Swansea City win promotion, the 26-year-old could see his move become permanent, which would likely see the Sounders receive a hefty transfer fee.
Morris made waves when he first turned pro for his decision to pass on an offer to sign with Werder Bremen in order to start his career with his hometown Seattle Sounders. Five years later he looks much more prepared for the jump to Europe, and now he will have an excellent opportunity to show that his initial decision to start his career in MLS was a wise one that has him now ready to succeed on the other side of the pond.