Jordan Morris confident he'll return an even better player after second ACL injury

Jordan Morris has experienced what some might characterize as a forgettable 2021, having gone on loan to Swansea in England's Championship, only to suffer his second ACL injury in three years.

But the Seattle Sounders and US men's national team winger is instead choosing to remember that he recovered from an ACL injury before, emerging for the better in the process – with the confidence he can do it again.

The Seattle Times' Jayda Evans recently profiled Morris, giving Seattle fans a candid update on his prognosis and recovery process.

“The toughest part of my first injury was not knowing how I would return as a player, because I had never been through an ACL before and I didn’t know how I would come out on the other side,” he noted.

But then, as he assessed, “I feel like I came back from my first ACL injury a better player than I was before."

"Knowing that I’m going to do that this time as well is mentally helping me a lot," he added. "The challenging part of going through an injury like this before is that you know exactly the grind that you’re in for. So when I first heard the news I just couldn’t really believe it, because I know how challenging it was to go through this injury before, and to have to do it again was devastating.”

As the Sounders' social media team shared in August, Morris has been working back to full fitness and could be a factor in the Audi 2021 MLS Playoffs – if not the remainder of the regular season.

The Sounders, fresh off a tough loss in the Leagues Cup Final, have been without Morris the whole season, and yet have still mounted an impressive campaign that has them currently sitting second in the Western Conference standings. As Evans reported, Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer asserted how strong his squad can be with his full complement of players available.

“Just wait until Jordan Morris comes back, and then let’s see teams try to press high against us and leave Jordan and Raul \[Ruidiaz\] and Cristian \[Roldan\] up front,” Schmetzer asserted. “Let’s see that.”

In the meantime, Morris is doing the physical work to get back on the field, as well as managing the difficult mental side of the equation.

“I’ve watched way too much soccer from the sideline this year,” Morris said. “It’s one of the most difficult parts of going through the long-term injury, watching your team play. Watching games you feel you should be playing in, whether it’s with the Sounders or with the national team as well. Missing being out there more than anything. I love playing soccer, and to have that get taken away from me for these two [of the past four] years is frustrating.

“It can be mentally really challenging," he added. "The physical part of coming back from an ACL is difficult, but I think the mental part is what’s the most challenging.”