Jordan Morris does his best Erling Haaland impression for Seattle Sounders


Jordan Morris has enjoyed some spectacular individual performances throughout his MLS career, but none quite like the one he delivered for Seattle Sounders FC in MLS Matchday 5.

The US men's national team forward put on a show at Children's Mercy Park Saturday evening, scoring all four of his team's goals in a 4-1 romp over Western Conference foe Sporting Kansas City, with U22 Initiative signing Léo Chú credited with assists on all four. The dominant effort pushed Morris's season-long goal total to seven through five matches, staking him to an early MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi lead amid Seattle's 3W-1L-1D start to their 2023 campaign.

It also puts his name squarely in the mix for any way-too-early Landon Donovan MLS MVP conversations.

"Definitely an outstanding game," Morris, who turned pro in 2016, said after the match. "I think in my professional career, I've had a couple braces and one hat trick. But never ever in my career had four goals. Maybe as a youth player, but it's been a long, long time and it means a lot.

"I always say I'm a goal-scorer. I thrive on being able to score goals."

Leading the line

With the Sounders shorthanded going into the match due to six international absences (including star Peruvian forward Raúl Ruidíaz) and backup striker Héber on the mend from a hamstring injury, Morris moved from his customary spot on the wing into a traditional No. 9 role he hasn't played as much in recent years.

The move paid dividends for head coach Brian Schmetzer, as Morris feasted all night, aided by some pinpoint service and combination play with Chú. The Brazilian's four assists set a single-match club record, qualifying as a breakout performance in his second full season with Seattle following his August 2021 arrival from Grêmio.

"Obviously, Léo playing out wide had a really, really good game and for me when he got the ball out wide, or anyone out wide got the ball, it was to be the guy in the box and try to get on the end of things."

Road woes extinguished

The final result was a significant one for Seattle as they look to make an Audi MLS Cup Playoffs return after missing the postseason for the first time in their MLS history last year. Having established a "road warriors" reputation over the years, the Sounders struggled mightily with their road form in 2022 following their Concacaf Champions League title in May, eventually ending the campaign with a 3W-12L-2D record away from the friendly confines of Lumen Field.

With Saturday's suffocating performance demonstrating the type of depth Seattle have on paper, Morris said the hope is it's a sign that storyline is in the past. Equally encouraging, Morris said, was the team's response after Sporting KC netted the first goal of the night – a fifth-minute strike from Willy Agada that preceded Morris's four unanswered goals.

"We know that we haven't had the best record on the road recently and when that goal went in we could've imploded a little bit, and I think it's just testament to the group and the mentality that we went the other way," Morris said. "It was really just a fantastic team effort the way we controlled the game. It was a great result and we've got to build on this and keep playing like this on the road.

"It was a team effort today and I think a testament to the group: Guys playing out of position, Cristian \[Roldan\] filling in at right back, guys coming in that haven't played a ton of minutes this season – it's just a testament to this group, the mentality and the depth that we have on this team."