Sounders' Morris heats up after first goal takes "weight off his shoulders"

SEATTLE – The floodgates might be open for Jordan Morris.

After going scoreless through the first five matches of his MLS career, the Seattle Sounders’ rookie forward has now scored in three straight. This time, he tallied an 88th-minute dagger that broke a scoreless deadlock and sent the Sounders to a 1-0 Saturday afternoon home victory over Columbus Crew SC at CenturyLink Field.

“I think [Morris] is getting his confidence, for sure,” Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said afterwards. “We said once he got that first goal, then he’ll feel better about himself and he’ll have that weight off his shoulders. Now he feels more confident.”

Morris also pointed to his first goal – a second-half tally against the Philadelphia Union on April 16 – as the catalyst for the increased confidence that has resulted in his current three-game streak.

“You get that pressure off your back. Each game you don’t score, you’re feeling more and more pressure and it kind of eats at you while you’re playing,” Morris said. “[After the first one] you just go out there and play a little freer and with more confidence and goals like the goal today kind of just come.

“Games get more fun. You don’t think as much.”

Saturday’s game featured more dangerous opportunities from both sides than the final score would indicate, but seemed headed for what would have been a disappointing scoreless draw for the Sounders.

But Morris came to the rescue with the late game-winner, stabbing home the rebound after Columbus goalkeeper Steve Clark had denied Seattle substitute Oalex Anderson from point-blank range.

“They were a little bit better in the first half than we were,” Schmid said. “We made a couple of errors that we were lucky we didn’t pay for. I thought in the second half we were more on the front foot. I thought we were better overall and I thought we were justly rewarded with a goal.”

The victory also means the Sounders managed to accomplish the first phase of Schmid’s stated goal of taking all six points from his team’s brief two-game homestand, an objective they’ll look to complete with next weekend’s tilt against the San Jose Earthquakes.