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MLS dry spell broken, Jordan Morris looks to return to 2016 scoring form

MINNEAPOLIS – Now that Jordan Morris' long MLS dry spell is broken, he's hoping to get back to the scoring form that made him the 2016 MLS Rookie of the Year.

Morris was the hero of the 2016 CONCACAF Gold Cup Final, scoring the late title-winner against Jamaica last month. But when he found the net for the Seattle Sounders in Saturday's 4-0 rout of Minnesota United, it was his first strike in league play since April 23.

While his customary tireless motor was on full display, it turns out that Morris’ biggest improvement was actually in his poise – knowing when to throttle down a bit and get his placement down.

“I was talking a lot with one of the assistant coaches on the national team," said Morris, who has three goals this season after setting a rookie record with 12 last year." He told me to try and slow down a little bit in front of goal, and I 100% agree with him. It’s about taking that breath and looking to finish.

"A lot of my plays are through-balls in behind, where you’re going full speed and just have to slow down, maybe mentally, a little bit. It’s something to keep working on.”

It doesn't hurt to have Clint Dempsey, the USMNT's co-leading career scorer, as a teammate with both club and country.

"He’s always working hard, always trying to score goals,” Dempsey said. “The team is playing better than we were earlier in the season. Obviously, his confidence is high from how things went in the Gold Cup. At the same time, he’s been working hard all year, and he’ll continue to do well for us. We’re not worried about it.”

Another reason for the Sounders to be confident going forward is that Saturday saw goals from all three of their forward trio of Dempsey (who had a brace), Morris and Will Bruin. Playing in a high pressure system, they kept the Loons on the back foot for 90 minutes, rarely taking the foot off the gas.

“It was good for Jordan to get off the schneid,” manager Brian Schmetzer told reporters. “He deserved it. He’s putting the work in at training to stay sharp. Bruin and Deuce have being doing that all season long. I’m extremely pleased.”