Seattle Sounders’ victory comes at a cost: Jordan Morris exits with groin injury


SEATTLE – A badly-needed win was a bit of a double-edged sword for Seattle Sounders FC in Matchday 15.

Seattle’s 1-0 victory over the New York Red Bulls at Lumen Field was a cathartic three-point result as the Rave Green have dealt with a downturn in form in recent weeks. But it came at a cost: Star forward Jordan Morris exited the contest in the first half after injuring his groin on the same play in which he scored the game-winning goal.

After the match, Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer updated the status of the US international, who bagged his first goal since April 1 and his ninth of the 2023 season with the 22nd-minute strike.

“So that stopped some of the naysayers about him not scoring,” Schmetzer said. “I thought Jordan was very, very good. [The injury is] nothing significant. It’s an adductor strain, groin injury, however you guys want to phrase it. He thinks he’ll be back in two weeks.”

Fortuitous timing

While Morris’s absence will leave a void in Seattle’s attack for as long as he’s sidelined, at least one reinforcement appears to be arriving with the impending return of Peruvian standout striker Raúl Ruidíaz, who’s played just 246 minutes this season while battling a hamstring injury.

The 32-year-old was available off the bench for Saturday’s match, but didn’t end up featuring after a 75th-minute red card to midfielder João Paulo forced Seattle into a more defensive posture for the rest of the contest.

“Raúl is not 100 percent fitness-wise,” Schmetzer said. “Health-wise with his hamstring he’s very close. He’s been working hard with the trainers to get himself physically healthy. Of course you need fitness. There is a time restriction on Raúl’s return to play, how many minutes he can play.

“We’re going to build his fitness because Raúl is an important player for us and we want to make sure we’re careful on how we re-introduce him to games. We would have loved to get him in the game tonight, but unfortunately the red card was a big factor in why we couldn’t.”

A win’s a win

Between the unfortunate injury to Morris and the red card, no one would describe the final outcome as the prettiest of victories. But Schmetzer said he nonetheless fully appreciates the result's gut-it-out nature given the points Seattle have dropped in recent weeks, particularly at home.

Even with the recent slump, Saturday's three points put Seattle back atop the Western Conference table for the time being, with their 26 points (8W-5L-2D) one clear of both St. Louis CITY SC and LAFC.

“Nobody’s gonna care at the end of the year how we won, why we won,” Schmetzer said. “It’s three points. And it’s three points at home after a couple of duds. And the performance, there’s [been] a lot of chatter on social media about the team – the team gutted it out tonight.”