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The Jordan Morris Argument

The Jordan Morris Argument

Photo Courtesy of Brent Flanders of

Jordan Morris: the Future of American Soccer…has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Not many people care about soccer here in the good ole’ U.S. of A., the only time we watch is when the FIFA Men’s or Women’s World Cup is playing on our televisions. But Jordan Morris’ recent decision to play professionally gives you incentive to care. His development will help determine the U.S.’s progression for the 2018 World Cup in Russia and future World Cups to come.

Jordan Morris grew up in Washington, and played for MLS Seattle Sounders’ youth team. He ended up playing college soccer for Stanford University and won the National Championship and the Hermann trophy (college soccer’s Heisman).

He has already been capped by the U.S. (has played for the national team) and has gotten trials to play professionally in Germany. He scored against Mexico in an international friendly last year (friendly is a loose term), and has players all around the world raving about his talents.

However, he has always been considered an amateur because he played collegiate athletics. But, just like NFL underclassmen, he declared in December he was forgoing his senior year and turning pro. That announcement halted the U.S. soccer media to a standstill. There were two sides to this story: 1) would he turn pro? And, 2) would he go to Europe?

Until December, the jury was out as to if the best American amateur would leave Stanford. Jurgen Klinsmann, the U.S. national coach, said in one interview that “Obviously [Morris] has to turn pro.” Klinsmann has shown his pleasure by telling ESPN “I’m thrilled that Jordan decided to go pro…I’m just happy that this big step now – Stanford too – to a professional level is now happening.” Morris has officially removed the “amateur” tag from his player profile.

The biggest part to this equation is the later half: Would the U.S. star leave the country and go to Europe, where the superstars are treated like gods and the competition is light-years ahead? In early January, Morris went to Germany and had a ten-day tryout with Werder Bremen, a team in the German Bundesliga , which is German soccer’s top league. Morris apparently did very well, as Werder offered him a contract after the trial, but ultimately Morris chose to return home to the Seattle Sounders, who owned his player rights.

Seattle “owned” his player rights because he was designated as a homegrown player. He played a year in Seattle’s academy system; therefore Seattle essentially has rights to his player contract.

The move created some shockwaves around the country. Many thought he should go to Europe and play against the best in the world. I am one to believe that Seattle was the best move for him right now. Learn, develop, and replace the aging Clint Dempsey in a few years, become an even bigger star, then bolt to Europe and show what he’s got. The national team is also looking promising with some younger players including John Brooks, Gyasi Zardes, DeAndre Yedlin, and Julian Green. Morris should use the MLS and the national team early in his career to spring board into better riches andtruly become “THE MAN” of United States soccer.

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The Jordan Morris Argument