Jurgen Klinsmann has given his two cents about Jordan Morris, stating that it is time for the Stanford University forward to become a professional.
The United States Men National Team head coach urged the standout to make the tough decision after he led Stanford to the NCAA title on Sunday.
“Now comes a big moment for Jordan Morris. He has to decide what is his next step. His next step obviously has to be becoming a professional,” Klinsmann said. “From our standpoint, it’s very, very important that he chooses an environment where he gets to play.”
Klinsmann hits the nail on the head when he said the 21-year-old forward has to sign with a team that’ll play him regularly. But which club in MLS can guarantee the MAC Hermann Trophy finalist a place in its starting lineup?
At the moment the number is zero. Yes, many MLS clubs are anxious to have the highly-touted forward on their roster, but none of them can say whether or not he will be an immediate hit like Orlando City’s Cyle Larin.
However, it is important to point out that Larin didn’t come out of the gates scoring every chance that fell to him. In fact, he only managed one goal in his first six games. But Orlando was patient and it paid off as their leading man hit the back of the net 17 times and won the Rookie of the Year award.
As it stands, the Seattle Sounders are first in line to sign Morris. The powerful forward spent a season with Seattle’s academy, which makes him eligible to join the team as a homegrown player. And GM Garth Lagerwey said that the Sounders have offered a deal most homegrown players would die for.
But will the budding star flourish in Seattle?
At the moment, two – Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins – of the top five forwards in MLS play for Sigi Schmid. The coach favors the traditional 4-4-2 formation and it doesn’t look like he plans to change his style of play.
That means Morris would have to be content with a role off the bench. Martins, 31, and Dempsey, 32, are nearing the end of the storied careers, with both player having maybe two or three elite years left in the tank. During those years, Morris can learn from two players that have been successful on the international level and in Europe.
However, being an understudy will put Morris’ place in the national team in jeopardy. And for that reason, the up-and-coming forward might look for better suitors in the MLS.
One team that desperately needs to find a potent finisher is the Chicago Fire. In his second stint in MLS, Brazilian forward Gilberto showed well scoring five goals in eight starts. But, the rest of Chicago’s attacking core misfired for most of the season.
African speedsters Kennedy Igboananike and David Accam only managed 17 goals. The latter was stellar, considering the fact that he missed multiple games due to injures, but Igboananike didn’t start showing signs of life until Chicago’s fate had been decided.
The Philadelphia Union, FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake would also love to have a player like Morris, but they can only hope he joins the MLS Combine player pool. But at the moment that seems unlikely, leaving Seattle with the only real opportunity to sign the youngster.
Another option Morris could explore would be to join a European side. That decision could cost him because he’ll most likely be relegated to a youth side if he joins a team in the top five leagues in Europe. He would play regularly, but won’t be able to test his abilities against the best players in the world.
He would have to wait a few years before he can break into the first team and that isn’t guaranteed.
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