Jordan Morris
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80 MLS stars set for National Team action - This Week in MLS

  • Seattle’s Jordan Morris comes back stronger than ever
  • 80 MLS players called by 32 countries for national team duty
  • Davies, Aaronson among three academy products to score first league goals
  • TFC’s Akinola tallies, then joins MLS-heavy U-20 World Cup warmup camp
  • Week 4 Notes
 
Top 5 Things to Watch this Week:
1. 80 MLS stars set for National Team action: Eighty MLS players have been called to represent 32 countries this FIFA window, with the 15 for the U.S. Men’s National team and 11 for Canada featuring nine MLS academy products between the nations.
 
2. Goals Galore: A record 47 goals marks the most-ever goals in a round of games, as the current goals-per-game average through the first three weeks of 2019 sits at 3.2 this season.
 
3. Seattle’s best start in a decade: Known for midseason turnarounds, Seattle Sounders FC have posted their best start since 2009, and are the only team thus far to open the season with three straight wins. With 10 goals and a strong start, Seattle is positioning quite favorably early on for the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs.
 
4. U.S. U20s stacked with MLS talent: Featuring 10 current MLS players and 14 MLS academy products, the U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team heads into final World Cup prep with matches against France on March 22 and Japan on March 25.
 
5. Academy products shining at home and abroad: A season-high 40 academy products saw MLS first-team minutes in league play last weekend, while abroad Alphonso Davies (Vancouver Whitecaps FC Academy) scored his first Bayern Munich goal and Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls Academy) went the full 90 for Red Bull Leipzig.
 
Seattle’s Jordan Morris comes back stronger than ever
A year after his season-ending ACL injury, Homegrown striker Jordan Morris is having an explosive return to Seattle Sounders FC. The 24-year-old with three goals and an assist in his first three MLS games has earned his way back onto the U.S. Men’s National Team, and he is building a strong case for MLS Comeback Player of the Year.
 
He returns to the U.S. MNT for the first time since January Camp 2018, but he’s no stranger to starring roles for both club and country. Morris has positioned Seattle atop the current MLS standings, and he was a key contributor toward its 2016 MLS Cup-winning campaign. With 25 caps and five goals for country, he put away this 89th-minute game-winner in the 2017 Concacaf Gold Cup final, and just might have the chance to revive those heroics during the tournament this year.
 
Morris and the U.S. MNT host Ecuador at Orlando City Stadium on Thursday (8 p.m. ET, ESPN2, UniMás, UDN) before taking on Chile at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston on March 26 (8 p.m. ET, ESPN2, UniMás, UDN).
 
80 MLS players called by 32 countries for national team duty
While rosters are still being rounded out, 80 MLS players thus far have been called into national team duty by 32 different countries for the March FIFA International Window.
 
The United States leads the charge with 15 current MLS players for its friendlies against Ecuador (March 21) and Chile (March 26) this month. Among the U.S. contingent are 10 MLS academy products, comprising over 40 percent of the roster, including the return of Jordan Morris from injury. Ecuador (Carlos Gruezo, Romario Ibarra, Jhegson Mendez), and Chile (Diego Rubio) both showcase players familiar with the U.S. roster through their MLS connection as well.
 
Seven CONMEBOL nations called up 15 players during the window, including the first ever active MLS player called to Argentina in Atlanta United’s Pity Martinez.
 
Davies, Aaronson among three academy products to score first goals in respective league play
Philadelphia Union 18-year-old forward Brenden Aaronson and 19-year-old Toronto FC forward Ayo Akinola both scored their first career goals in a week that saw MLS academy products register weekly season highs in minutes, goals and assists. Joining the fray was Seattle Sounders FC forward Jordan Morris, who is now tied for the MLS lead with three goals scored this season.
 
MLS academy products who have since transferred abroad have continued to showcase the talents developed in North America, with 18-year-old Alphonso Davies (Vancouver Whitecaps FC Academy) scoring his first Bundesliga goal to become the youngest Bayern Munich scorer in 20 years. Also in Germany, Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls Academy) continued to shine with a 90-minute performance, helping RB Leipzig best Weston McKennie (FC Dallas Academy) and FC Schalke 04.
 
MLS Academy Product
Weekly Stats
*MLS play only
Players
Goals
Assists
Minutes
Week 1
37
3
4
2,398
Week 2
34
2
1
2,059
Week 3
40
7
4
2,722
 
 
TFC’s Akinola tallies, then joins MLS-heavy U-20 World Cup warmup camp
Tab Ramos has named the 20 players that will join him for a final U.S. U-20 camp prior to May’s 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup. MLS Academy Products make up 70 percent of the group with 10 players currently representing 10 different MLS clubs. The MLS-heavy squad heads to Spain for camp and two friendlies against France (March 22) and Japan (March 25).
 
Toronto FC forward Ayo Akinola enters camp in strong form after scoring his first MLS goal on Sunday. The goal just adds to an illustrious start to his career which includes Best XI honors at the Concacaf U-20 Championship in November, earned for his seven goals in the tournament.
 
Additional players that look to have a strong shot at making the U.S. FIFA U-20 World Cup roster but were not included in the warmup camp include fellow 2018 Concacaf U-20 Championship winners in FC Dallas midfielders Paxton Pomykal and Brandon Servania, and Philadelphia Union defender Mark McKenzie, with the latter two players also named Best XI in that tournament.
 
MLS Academy Products (14): 70% of U.S. U-20 roster
  • Ayo Akinola, F (Toronto FC Academy / Toronto FC)
  • Andrew Carleton, M (Atlanta United Academy / Atlanta United)
  • C.J. Dos Santos, GK (Philadelphia Union Academy / Benfica)
  • Chris Durkin, M (D.C. United Academy / D.C. United) 
  • Chris Gloster, D (New York Red Bulls Academy / Hannover 96)
  • Aboubacar Keita, D (Columbus Crew SC Academy / Columbus Crew SC)
  • Jaylin Lindsey, D (Sporting Kansas City Academy / Sporting Kansas City)
  • Ulysses Llanez, F (LA Galaxy Academy / Unattached)
  • Alex Mendez, M (LA Galaxy Academy / SC Freiburg)
  • Trey Muse, GK (Seattle Sounders FC Academy / Seattle Sounders FC)
  • Matthew Real, D (Philadelphia Union Academy / Philadelphia Union)
  • Justin Rennicks, F (New England Revolution Academy / New England Revolution) 
  • Chris Richards, D (FC Dallas Academy / Bayern Munich)
  • Sebastian Soto, F (Real Salt Lake Academy / Hannover 96)
 
MLS Regular Season: Week 4 Notes
Saturday, March 23
FC Dallas vs. Colorado Rapids, 5:30 p.m. ET (UniMás, Twitter)
  • FC Dallas suffered their first defeat of the season, falling 1-0 to Columbus Crew SC at Mapfre Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
  • The Rapids are still looking for a first win of 2019, reaching a second draw in three matches with a 1-1 result against Sporting Kansas City at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Sunday evening. Diego Rubio scored his first goal since coming to Colorado over the offseason, coming against his former club.
  • The Rapids won the last meeting between the teams, a 2-1 victory at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in the season finale on Decision Day (Oct. 28). It was their first home win in the series since 2013, a five-game home winless run; the teams had reached four consecutive 1-1 draws in Commerce City, Colo.
  • FC Dallas won the last meeting in Frisco, a 1-0 victory on April 7, and have now won the two meetings at Toyota Stadium, ending a three-game winless streak in the series in Frisco. The Rapids’ last win there came in 2016.
 
New York Red Bulls vs. Orlando City SC, 7:30 p.m. ET
  • The Red Bulls returned to league play after a weekend away and won for the first time, defeating the San Jose Earthquakes 4-1 at Red Bull Arena on Saturday afternoon. Alex Muyl scored two goals, his first career multiple-goal game as a professional, while Danny Royer scored a goal and added an assist.
  • Orlando City suffered their first defeat of the season following a pair of draws, falling 3-1 to the Montréal Impact at Orlando City Stadium. Dom Dwyer scored for a second consecutive week.
  • The teams split their season series a year ago, each winning on their home ground. Orlando City took a 4-3 win on March 31 at Orlando City Stadium, then the Red Bulls claimed a 1-0 victory in the season finale on Decision Day (Oct. 28) at Red Bull Arena. It was the second consecutive season the teams split the two-game series, each winning on their home ground.
  • The visiting team has not won in the series since 2015 – Orlando City’s first year in MLS – when each team won at the other’s ground. The Red Bulls have won the last four meetings at Red Bull Arena, since a 5-2 OCSC win in Harrison in 2015.
 
Philadelphia Union vs. Columbus Crew SC, 7:30 p.m. ET
  • The Union took their first point of the season after a pair of draws, reaching a 1-1 result with Atlanta United at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday evening. Brenden Aaronson scored his first career goal; aged 18 years, 146 days, he’s the youngest player to score in MLS this season.
  • Crew SC remained undefeated for the season with a second consecutive victory, defeating FC Dallas 1-0 at Mapfre Stadium at Saturday afternoon. Gaston Sauro netted his second goal of the season, his first two goals in his five seasons in MLS.
  • Crew SC took the only victory by either team in the series last year, a 1-0 win on May 9 at Mapfre Stadium. The teams also reached a pair of goalless draws, one at each ground, March 17 at Talen Energy Stadium, and Sept. 29 in Columbus.
  • There has a been a shutout in each of the past five meetings between the teams. The Union won in 2017 in Chester, Pa., a 3-0 victory, and Crew SC also won that year in Columbus, 1-0.
 
Los Angeles Football Club vs. Real Salt Lake, 10:30 p.m. ET
  • The Los Angeles Football Club remained undefeated on the season, reaching a 2-2 draw with New York City FC at Yankee Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Carlos Vela scored a pair of goals, his fourth multiple-goal game in MLS; he has three goals and two assists on the season.
  • Real Salt Lake suffered their first defeat of the season, falling 5-0 to D.C. United at Audi Field on Saturday evening.
  • The teams met twice in LAFC’s inaugural league season, with the expansion club winning both. LAFC won 5-1 on March 10 at Rio Tinto Stadium, as Diego Rossi tied an MLS record by playing a part in all five goals, with two goals and three assists, then LAFC won 2-0 on Aug. 15 at Banc of California Stadium.
  • The teams also met in the Knockout Round of the MLS Cup Playoffs, with Real pulling off an upset with a 3-2 win at Banc of California Stadium.
 
Sunday, March 24
New England Revolution vs. FC Cincinnati, 4 p.m.
  • The Revolution remained winless on the new season, suffering a second consecutive loss in a 3-2 defeat to Toronto FC at BMO Field on Sunday evening. Carles Gil netted both goals for the Revolution; he has scored all three New England goals this season.
  • FC Cincinnati made their MLS home opener one to remember, rolling to a 3-0 win against the Portland Timbers at Nippert Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The game drew a sellout crowd of 32,250, the largest crowd in FC Cincinnati’s club history. Expansion clubs are now 9-6-2 in their MLS home openers.
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