Jordan Morris must earn spot in crowded Seattle attack

Now that the Seattle Sounders have signed Jordan Morris, the question becomes where will they play him. He joins a Sounders' frontline that may be the deepest in MLS with Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins and Nelson Valdez. It's a problem his new coach, Sigi Schmid, will gladly have.

"Having too many good players is never an issue," said Schmid at Thursday's introduction. "You can't have enough of them, at the end of the day. I think Jordan is a forward. He still has a useful exuberance that he could probably run on the flank for a little bit. How we are going to play this year will be determined more into the preseason. We're obviously leaning more towards three strikers or a narrower front than we have in the past to make use of the talent we have."

Morris was a forward at Stanford and has had most of his success on the national team as a forward.
"He has some qualities that you can't teach," added Schmid. "When you find players who have that, he has an ability to shield the ball off defenders, he has really good balance and he has an ability to finish. When you have that, and the commitment and dedication to go with it, you can go a long way."

Dempsey has never played with Morris on the national team, but he knows the Stanford product from the times he has trained with the Sounders.

"He's done well with Stanford by winning the national championship," Dempsey said at Tuesday's MLS Media Day. "He's done well when he's gotten called into the national team. I've trained a few times with him at Seattle. He's a player that has a bright future."

As Dempsey pointed out, Schmid is already going to have to figure out how to incorporate Valdez, the Paraguayan international, into the team. Dempsey and Martins have played together for three seasons, while the 32-year-old Valdez made just five starts after coming over from Germany's Bundesliga, where he played over 200 games.

“There’s always room for quality players in a team,” Dempsey added. “The trick as a manager is to figure out how to bring the best out of your team and what positions to play players in to what formation. You have to wait and see what happens with what team you end up having, figure out who's going to play where."

Sounders owner Adrian Hanauer made it clear that the high-profile signing of a local product -- Morris' father, Dr. Michael Morris, is the Sounders' chief medical director -- would not influence Morris' playing time.

"We feel like this is a pretty big club with a big fan base with big players," he said. "We love Jordan, but we have much bigger players than Jordan today. Jordan has got to earn his way on to the field."

Jordan Morris Career:
21/6/7 Stanford (2013)
15/4/6 Stanford (2014)
18/13/3 Stanford (2014)
USA (2014)
6/1/1 USA (2015)
11/6/4 U.S. U-23 (2015)
3/0/0 U.S. U-20 (2015)

Preseason starts for the Sounders on Friday at the club's Starfire Sports training facility in Tukwila, but Morris won't join the team until after the U.S. national team plays its friendly games against Iceland and Canada.

The Sounders have a game against the Portland Timbers the day Morris is expected to join the team at camp in Tucson, Arizona, but his first game with the Sounders will likely be on Feb. 9 against Mexican club Celaya in a friendly in Tucson.

Morris' first competitive match -- and first home game -- with the Sounders will likely be on Feb. 23 against Mexican club Club America in the first leg of their Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League series at CenturyLink Field.

8 comments about "Jordan Morris must earn spot in crowded Seattle attack".
  1. R2 Dad, January 22, 2016 at 1:38 a.m.

    Be careful what you wish for, Sigi. We'll see how 2016 plays out. Maybe there are enough games, international breaks and injuries to keep 4 forwards busy. If JM sits too long and doesn't develop regardless of whether you win the MLS Cup and/or CL, you may not be making the case for MLS player development and that is the next big MLS hurdle. A spring loan would make sense. Maybe Germany? He could return from a relegation scrap battle-tested--something you don't get in MLS--ever.

  2. Wooden Ships replied, January 22, 2016 at 9:13 a.m.

    Breaking news R 2, Sigi thinks JM is a forward. Sorry, that's wasn't called for-SS is a great coach. It just struck my odd, his comment. To me JM is not a flank player, he's and out and out striker. I hope Sigi doesn't confuse-or take away what the US has maybe never seen in a Forward, trying to be clever with his attacking options. The loan idea is okay if it were not for Jordan perhaps not ready to live another lifestyle-country. If Jurgen continues to favor the lone forward, JM is already better than Jozy. Sigi and JK need to not muck this up.

  3. Carlos Figueroa replied, January 22, 2016 at 9:23 a.m.

    Unless he he's a flop during preseason training, they're not going to consider loaning him out. Sigi, and any other coach, would love to have a high quality player on the bench. Sigi is gonna do what's best for Seattle, not what's best for mls.

  4. beautiful game, January 24, 2016 at 10:32 a.m.

    Wooden Ships is on the money. JM is a striker, nothing else. He reminds me a bit of Giogio Chinaglia, focus & all business on the pitch. Whether he can score like Giorgio is up to him.

  5. Wooden Ships replied, January 24, 2016 at 11:57 a.m.

    Damn, I w your right. Not sure how I forgot about Giorgio (yes I do dimished recall). My high school and club teammate played with him while he was with the Cosmos. Very much like him indeed!

  6. Wooden Ships replied, January 24, 2016 at 12:01 p.m.

    The Frenchman Eric Cantano too. Will he ever be in their league, probably not. But if he comes close then we will have a consistent scorer for the USMNT for awhile. I hope he can include some guile that Mathis and Deuce posses.

  7. beautiful game, January 24, 2016 at 1:50 p.m.

    IMHO, the MLS has screwed up royally by not recruiting some of the NASL stars like Bogisevic as club development coaches.

  8. Wooden Ships replied, January 24, 2016 at 2:07 p.m.

    I w, I'm not sure who all is developing players in MLS. I do think our college game has influenced MLS somehow. Neither are easy to watch most of the time. NASL was easier on the eyes IMO. Skill level was more technical and not as frenetic. It must be attributed to this last 20 or so years of the club system in our country. Regardless of age, win, win, win.

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