After months of speculation and weeks of intense deliberation, Jordan Morris and the Seattle Sounders finally made it official on Thursday, when the club announced they have signed the 21-year-old US national team forward to the most lucrative Homegrown contract in MLS history.
Per league and club policy, further terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Thursday’s signing marks an end to a whirlwind five weeks for Morris, whose professional debut has become one of the most anticipated for an American prospect in years. The former Sounders academy player led Stanford University to their first national title on December 13, announced he was turning pro shortly thereafter, won the MAC Hermann Trophy as college soccer’s top player earlier this month and went on a week-long trial with German Bundesliga club Werder Bremen before returning to Seattle on Wednesday to sign with his hometown club.
“Today we’re excited and proud to officially welcome Jordan back into the Sounders FC organization,” said Seattle owner Adrian Hanauer, in a team statement. “Jordan and his family have a long history with our organization, so it’s a pleasure to make him the seventh Homegrown Player in club history. As one of the most promising US Soccer prospects in recent memory, we’re thrilled to have him join the club as we move into our eighth season in Major League Soccer.”
The first college player in nearly two decades to be called to the senior US national team, Morris recieved his first call-up when he was named to the squad that played a friendly at the Czech Republic in September 2014. He made his full international debut in November 2014 during a friendly at Ireland.
He scored the game-winning goal in the USMNT’s friendly win against Mexico last April, and played a key role in the team’s shocking wins at Germany and the Netherlands in June. A key part of the US Under-23 team attempting to qualify for this summer’s Olympics, Morris has seven career caps with the USMNT, and made his World Cup Qualifying debut in November against St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Capable of playing as a striker or out wide, the 5-foot-11 forward finished his Stanford career with 23 goals and 16 assists in three seasons. He’ll join Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins and Nelson Valdez on Seattle’s forward line, adding to an already talented attacking core.
Morris, who was in Seattle on Thursday for the press conference announcing his signing, will now fly to Southern California to join the US national team at their already in-progress January training camp in Carson. The USMNT will play a pair of friendlies at StubHub Center to close the camp, facing off against Iceland on January 31 and Canada on February 5.
Morris will join Seattle’s preseason camp after wrapping his stint with the USMNT, teaming up with head coach Sigi Schmid and the rest of the Sounders roster as they prepare for the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series against Club América on February 23 at CenturyLink Field.