Jordan Morris has accomplished virtually all there is to accomplish in college soccer. He led his Stanford Cardinal through the NCAA tournament and capped it off with a brace in a victorious national championship game. Now he has a decision to make regarding his immediate future. Does he stay in college for one more year and earn his degree? Or does he forego his final year of eligibility and head to the professional level?
United States men's national team boss Jurgen Klinsmann has weighed in on the 21-year-old's dilemma. Through a series of quotes released by U.S. Soccer has said the choice Morris needs to make is an obvious one.
"He has to decide what is his next step. His next step obviously has to be becoming a professional," said Klinsmann. "It's not an easy decision for him."
Most experts expect Morris to do just that. He's already received the largest MLS Homegrown contract offer in league history from the Seattle Sounders, and has at least one offer in Europe from a Bundesliga club according to Taylor Twellman. Klinsmann is correct is saying that the choice seems obvious. However, what about that coveted Stanford degree?
While it's not a guarantee, we have to assume that even if Morris leaves college, he'll have an opportunity at some point to finish his schoolwork and pick up his degree. Turning pro would just likely slow down the process. But is he willing to wait? There's always a possibility that he decides that one more year of college is worth the career risk for a degree from one of the finest universities in the world.
Assuming he picks the pro route, the USMNT boss cautions Morris that he'll need to find the right situation. A club that would offer him playing time so that he's match fit for both the senior national team and the U-23 team that will attempt to qualify for the Olympics in March.
"From our standpoint, it's very, very important that he chooses an environment where he gets to play," Klinsmann said. "He needs to play in order to be in a good position to be a continuous part of the national team program, and also the Olympic team that will hopefully qualify for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro at the end of March."
Morris will likely make his decision soon, but whatever it is it's not for us to judge him. He will do whatever he feels is best for his personal future. It doesn't matter what Klinsmann, critics, or the American soccer supporters think about his dilemma. Ultimately the kid has to follow his heart and make a choice.