It took six games before rookie Jordan Morris scored his first MLS goal, but he hasn't stopped scoring since then. And it's a good thing for the struggling Seattle Sounders. He has scored their
last three goals that have been responsible for two wins and six of their 10 points.
The 1-0 win over the Columbus Crew on Morris' goal in the 88th minute still left Seattle in ninth
place in the Western Conference, four points below the red line. The goal was just the eighth in eight games for the Sounders, who sold Obafemi Martins during the offseason and have had
Clint Dempsey,Nelson Valdez and Andreas Ivanschitz in and out of the lineup with injuries.
“You get that pressure off your back," Morris said after the
game against the Crew. "Each game you don’t score, you’re feeling more and more pressure and it kind of eats at you while you’re playing. You get that first one, you just go out
there -- and this is the life of a forward, sometimes -- and play a little freer and with more confidence, and then goals like the goal today kind of just come."
Dempsey and Martins had
developed the most feared tandem in MLS with their ability to play off of each other. Dempsey and Morris, who had never played together before this season, not even on the national team, are beginning
to develop an understanding for each other. Morris is also learning when to take on defenders from the right side and when to cut in, using his strengths he developed in college at Stanford.
"It is slowing down a little bit," he said of the pro game. "I think when you make the step up from any level to a higher level it's going to be a little fast at first, but it's definitely slowing
down and hopefully it will continue to slow down."
Sounders coach Sigi Schmid says the weight is now off his Morris' shoulders.
"I think scoring the first goal you get
some confidence," Schmid said on Monday, "and if you feel better you're more willing to pull the trigger, you're more willing to make those runs."
Morris said he likes playing center
forward, but two of his three goals have come from the right side.
"He gets the goal from Ivanschitz when he's coming from the right," Schmid said of Morris' first goal against
Philadelphia. "He gets the goal in Colorado where he's on the right and the ball comes through and he beats the guy and shoots."
The late winner against Columbus was a lot simpler.
Erik Friberg fed outside back Joevin Jones down the left side, where the Trinidadian slotted to ball to Oalex Anderson, whose shot was stopped by Crew keeper Steve
Clark. Morris pounced on the rebound for his third goal.
One of the best moves the Sounders have made is acquire veteran striker Herculez Gomez, who has passed on the advice he got from Scotsman Billy McNicol, who worked with him early
in his pro career with the LA Galaxy.
"I gave Jordan a piece of advice a while ago and he has taken to it and is doing really well," Gomez said after the Crew game. "I told him if at any
point during the game you don't know what to do, just put it in the back of the net. [Laughs] And he's done pretty well."