Jordan Morris’ 2018 season ended before it even started. With the Seattle Sounders preparing for their opening game of the new MLS campaign, the young striker went down untouched in a CONCACAF Champions League match in El Salvador. He had suffered a torn ACL, and with that his entire year was written off.
Now, though, having walked the long road to recovery, Morris is back in training. “It feels amazing,” the 24-year-old said after his first day back in 10 months. “It’s been a really long year and every day I came in and just wished I could be out here, so stepping onto the field for the first training session feels great.”
Morris has been sidelined for so long it can be easy to forget the impact he made on MLS in his first two years as a professional. Long hyped as the next big thing to hit the American game, making his international debut while still at Stanford, Morris hit the ground running after signing for the Seattle Sounders in January 2016. He looked the part from the very beginning.
With Morris leading the line, the Sounders won their first-ever MLS Cup in 2016 and then followed that up by making it to the MLS Cup final for the second successive season, ultimately losing out to Toronto FC. He broke rookie scoring records and became something of an icon for the CenturyLink Field faithful.
At just 24, Morris already has 25 caps for the U.S. senior team, illustrating his pedigree even at such a young age. With the 2019 MLS season rapidly approaching, the return of one of the most exciting talents in the American game is a storyline to keep an eye on. It could be one of the defining tales that unfolds over the coming weeks and months.
Graham Ruthven is a soccer writer based in the U.K. He has written for the New York Times, Guardian, Eurosport, Bleacher Report, and others.