Yesterday we learned that Jordan Morris was all set to turn pro and sign with his hometown Seattle Sounders in Major League Soccer. Today another report has emerged that paints a different picture. According to Sports Illustrated, the 21-year-old striker will spend around a week training with Bundesliga club Werder Bremen before making his big career decision.
Morris will be attending the Hermann Award trophy gala on Friday, for which he is a finalist, and then he's off Germany to try and impress Bremen. It's unclear how long his training stint will last, but the report states that he won't be joining the USMNT's January camp until the 20th, 10 days after it begins.
There must be serious interest from Bremen for Morris to take this kind of risk with a huge contract offer from the Sounders on the table. Going over to the Bundesliga and training without a guarantee of money could come back to haunt him if things go wrong. Omar Gonzalez is another prominent American to go train in Germany in recent memory. His stint with FC Nurnberg lasted all of one session, in which he suffered a torn ACL and was out of action for half a year.
The player and his representatives must be pretty confident that the interest is real enough to take this sort of risk. We'll see how it plays out. Bremen are the same club that U.S. international Aron Johannsson joined in the Summer before picking up a nagging injury that's kept him out most of the season. The club was desperate for strikers then and presumably still are.
With Morris' inexperience at the top level, if he does end up joining the Bundesliga, it's reasonable to expect him to start out with a club's reserve side to get acclimated to the environment. The last thing American soccer supporters want is one of their most talented young players toiling away in the reserves, but if he hopes to make such a big career leap, it's likely a necessary evil.
The safe move would be to take Seattle's offer, but the risk of joining a top league like the Bundesliga, could offer a huge payoff in the end if it works out.