In reality, there was little doubt Jordan Morris would win MLS Rookie of the Year, but the real fun is only just beginning for the Seattle Sounders striker.
While not anti-climatic, Thursday’s announcement that Jordan Morris had won 2016 MLS Rookie of the Year only confirmed what was already pretty much accepted. The Seattle Sounders undoubtedly deserved the award after scoring 12 goals, the most ever by an American rookie and second-best of all time by any MLS rookie.
After entering the league to such fanfare as a homegrown player, Morris admittedly started the 2016 campaign slowly. (Although to be fair, so did most of his teammates.) However, once he got going he was tough to stop, especially after Nicolas Lodeiro joined the team at the end of July.
Another interesting and impressive aspect of the Seattle native’s game, was his versatility. At different stages of this season he played on either flank, at center forward and as a lone striker.
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As you’d expect, Morris was thrilled by his award, which he discussed with the media: “Of course it was one of my goals going into the year, but there were some other amazing rookies this year and they had awesome seasons.
“Just to be a finalist for the award with two other great, great players was cool. It is obviously a huge honor.”
Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer also shared his thoughts on the award, with SportspressNW.com and the rest of the media: “Jordan is a big reason that our club has been successful this year.
“He has dealt with huge expectations and pressure from the media. He handled himself like a veteran pro.”
What makes all of this so exciting for Sounders’ fans and fellow players alike, is that the 22-year old is only going to get better. He’s just scratching the surface of his full potential, and the sky is the limit for the talented youngster.
Of more immediate concern though, is Morris’ availability for the first leg of the Western Conference championship. He came off at half-time of the second leg of the Western Conference Semifinal against FC Dallas with a hamstring strain, leaving everyone to wonder if he will be playing a week on Tuesday?
Morris said: “There’s no (timeline) really. They said kind of day-to-day and we’ll go from there.
“I had an MRI, and the results were pretty good. I’m just day-to-day and working to get back.”
As such, all the Sounders can do at this point is hope the Stanford graduate will recover in time. It will be a shame if receiving the Rookie of the Year award turns out to be his last contribution to the MLS season, no matter how special it is.
What are your thoughts on Morris in respect of how far he can go in his professional career? Looking at the more immediate future, does he have what it takes to lead the Sounders to their first ever MLS Cup win this season, assuming he plays? Let us know in the comments section below.