Jordan Morris

It's been over two years since Jordan Morris last played for the US men's national team, scoring a Concacaf Nations League brace against Cuba on Nov. 19, 2019.

Now, after returning from a torn ACL he suffered while on loan with Swansea City, the Seattle Sounders forward is on head coach Gregg Berhalter's 26-man roster for the USMNT's December camp. The gathering includes a Dec. 18 friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina, plus will help maintain sharpness in the Concacaf World Cup Qualifying campaign.

Speaking with reporters following his first training session back, the 27-year-old is clearly relishing an opportunity to possibly contribute to a bid for Qatar 2022.

"For me, it's just trying to get back to my best and try to get back part of that group," Morris said. "That was a big goal of mine throughout my rehab, was get back part of the national team. That was the main goal, was to recover, get back to my best as quickly as possible and try and get back in with this group because that just means everything.

"For me, it's just doing what I normally do: trying to stretch teams, get in behind, use my speed to unbalance teams. I think I could bring that, but I'm just grateful to be back in this camp and look forward to continuing to work."

Morris has 10 goals across 39 USMNT appearances, featuring prominently at the 2017 and 2019 Gold Cups. But with two ACL tears over the last several years, and the COVID-19 pandemic putting the program on a lengthy pause, Morris' international career has experienced stops and starts.

Upon making his return in November, Morris featured in Seattle's final two regular-season matches and into extra time of their Round One match against Real Salt Lake in the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs, which ended in a penalty-kick defeat. Slowly but surely, he's regaining confidence.

"I think a lot of it is about continuing to get that sharpness and fitness level back up because I was just getting back when we got knocked out of the playoffs," Morris said. "And so I think this camp is a great opportunity to get back in with the group and continue to get my sharpness and fitness levels up heading into a big year next year.

"I think it's definitely still part of the process and I think I'm only probably nine months out from my surgery now, so I was able to get back on the field a little bit earlier than what was maybe anticipated at first which was great, but things are still going to be coming. I think in the playoff game with the Sounders, I was able to get to 103 minutes, something like that. So I feel like the work that I put in during the recovery definitely helped with the fitness side of things and that my fitness is at a pretty good level."

As for where he might fit tactically, Morris has played largely as a wide attacker for both club and country in recent seasons after starting his career as a pure forward.

Much has changed with the USMNT's player pool since he was last in the picture, with several promising young attackers breaking through and making an impact during World Cup Qualifying. Morris said he'd be happily deployed wherever he's needed and that he'll feel comfortable in either role.

"I haven't had too many conversations with [Berhalter] so far this camp, but both for the Sounders and for the national team, wherever I'm asked to play I feel like I'd of course be happy to play and I feel like I can bring my strengths into the game whether it's up front or out wide," Morris said. "Obviously with the Sounders, I was utilized a little bit of both when I came back this year and with the national team I've seen a little bit more out wide.

"But I'm just so grateful and happy to be back on the field and wherever I'm asked to play I would of course roll with that. Again, I think I can use my strengths in both those positions."