A Turn of Events: Jordan Morris Finally Enroute to Europe?

Growth at Home

These new European rumors are not the first time Jordan Morris has been linked to a European move. By now the story of Morris turning down Werder Bremen is infamous. You know, the one about the family dog. He has taken a lot of flack from US National Team fans for that over the years. However, it is also important to remember that Jordan has Type 1 Diabetes, and moving to Germany with a health condition, not speaking the language, would have been extremely difficult.

During his time in Seattle, Morris has grown as a player. He has moved from playing as more of a striker to a winger. As he has gotten older, he has gotten stronger. He is now more efficient and confident than he was when Werder Bremen first called. Now, Morris is one of the top players in both Seattle and MLS. 

Seattle as a team is attractive to play for. They are regularly in the mix for MLS Cup. The club is constantly in the top half of the regular league table as well. Jordan Morris plays a crucial role in that success. Fans adore him. In Seattle, he is likely to become a club legend. So why leave?

Time for Something New

One reason is to simply try something new. Morris has accomplished a lot at Seattle. He has proven himself to be a reliable goal scorer and a leader. Seattle has provided the perfect environment to develop. However, Morris has also accomplished just about everything there is to accomplish at Seattle. Perhaps, he has decided it is time to try something new. 

Another motivating factor is the US Men’s National Team. The trend is clear, young players have moved to Europe and are making impacts on the biggest stage. These young talents are Morris’s direct competition for the national team. When it comes down to it, wingers playing in the Top 5 leagues will overtake Morris in the National Team pool eventually. Playing in MLS will no longer be good enough, even being one of the league’s best. In order to compete, possibly even as early as the 2022 World Cup, he will have to play at a higher level.  

In terms of the National Team picture, now is a perfect time to make the move to Europe. It gives him time to adjust and settle in before World Cup Qualifying starts. Anytime a player moves to a new team there is an adjustment period. That is especially prevalent when a player is changing leagues, add in a new language and it is even worse. Moving now gives Morris time to have a dip in form while adjusting without risking his National Team spot for important games later this year, and certainly next year. 

The Reported Options

As of now, three options are being reported, a 6-month loan to Swansea, Wolfsburg, and Leverkusen. The first in the English Championship, and the latter two in the German Bundesliga. Each option has positives and negatives. 

The obvious drawback to Swansea is that they are in the second division. The English Championship is approximately the same level as MLS. It would not be much of a step up for Morris in the level of play. However, Swansea is currently second in the table, putting them in contention for promotion to the Premier League. The 6-month loan option is both a positive and negative. On the positive side, it allows for Morris to give Europe a try, while having the easy route back home. the negative side is that if it goes well, he ends up back at Seattle in the end anyway, provided there is not a purchase option written into the loan deal. The positive of going to Swansea is that playing time would be fairly easy to come by.

The Bundesliga options offer a better playing level, however, it is unclear if those are loan options or permanent deals. Playing time would also be harder to come by, as the level increases. Additionally, Wolfsburg is known for playing a complex system that takes time to learn and Leverkusen has good wingers already. However, with both Wolfsburg and Leverkusen in the fight for European spots domestically, and Leverkusen are in the Europa League knockout rounds, should Morris be able to make an impact there, it would provide him security in his National Team spot. One of the obvious additional considerations with the Bundesliga is the language barrier. Settling in with the team may take longer as a result.

Decisions, Decisions

Jordan Morris is facing a major decision. Whatever choice he makes can have long-term consequences, especially for his US National Team career. There are a lot of pros and cons to any move, but especially one that means leaving something comfortable and known, for something entirely unknown. The current trend of the US National Team has no doubt complicated this choice even more. Whatever choice Morris makes, the next few years of his career will be interesting to watch.