Jordan Morris was named the 2019 MLS Comeback Player of the Year on Tuesday, a well-deserved nod for the Seattle Sounders and US men’s national team attacker after his dogged recovery from a torn ACL that sidelined him for nearly all of 2018.
Morris, 24, bagged 10 goals and a career-high seven assists in league action this season, both second-best on the team, helping the Sounders earn the No. 2 seed in the MLS Western Conference as they qualified for the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs for an unprecedented 11th straight season.
Though playoff performances are not considered in end-of-year award voting, he underlined his striking return with a hat trick in his team’s dramatic 4-3 extratime win over FC Dallas in Round One of the playoffs last weekend. Morris also scored 2g/5a in 12 USMNT matches, becoming a regular under first-year head coach Gregg Berhalter.
The Seattle Homegrown is the third Sounder to win Comeback Player of the Year, following in the footsteps of Clint Dempsey and Eddie Johnson. Morris sustained his knee injury in a Concacaf Champions League match against Santa Tecla FC in El Salvador last February, necessitating reconstructive surgery and a long and painful recuperation and rehabilitation process.
Upon his return, the Stanford product displayed newfound levels of tactical maturity and technical sophistication in addition to his established traits of work rate and athleticism, consistently creating danger in multiple positions across the Sounders and USMNT front lines.
He and his club continue their pursuit of a second MLS Cup championship on Wednesday as they welcome Real Salt Lake to CenturyLink Field for their Western Conference Semifinal clash (10 pm ET | FS1, FOX Deportes in US; TSN1/4, TVAS in Canada).
The Comeback Player of the Year award was voted on by MLS club technical staff, media and current MLS players. Below is a breakdown of the voting results:
|Jordan Morris (SEA)||21.58%||30.69%||32.43%||28.23%|
|Mark-Anthony Kaye (LAFC)||24.32%||21.78%||27.41%||24.50%|
|Kacper Przybylko (PHI)||6.51%||8.91%||9.65%||8.36%|
|Chris Odoi-Atsem (DC)||9.59%||0.99%||8.11%||6.23%|
|Pedro Santos (CLB)||5.14%||6.93%||2.32%||4.79%|
MLS Comeback Player of the Year Winners
- 2019: Jordan Morris – Seattle Sounders FC
- 2018: Gyasi Zardes – Columbus Crew SC
- 2017: Clint Dempsey – Seattle Sounders FC
- 2016: Chris Pontius – Philadelphia Union
- 2015: Tim Melia – Sporting Kansas City
- 2014: Rodney Wallace – Portland Timbers
- 2013: Kevin Alston – New England Revolution
- 2012: Eddie Johnson – Seattle Sounders FC
- 2011: David Beckham – LA Galaxy
- 2010: Bobby Convey – San Jose Earthquakes
- 2009: Zach Thornton – Chivas USA
- 2008: Kenny Cooper – FC Dallas
- 2007: Eddie Johnson – Kansas City Wizards
- 2006: Richard Mulrooney – FC Dallas
- 2005: Chris Klein – Kansas City Wizards
- 2004: Brian Ching – San Jose Earthquakes
- 2003: Chris Armas – Chicago Fire
- 2002: Chris Klein – Kansas City Wizards
- 2001: Troy Dayak – San Jose Earthquakes
- 2000: Tony Meola – Kansas City Wizards