Jordan Morris made headlines when he became the first college player in nearly 20 years to play for the United States. And as soon as he did, most everyone speculated about where he could go when he left college in December. Would it be for MLS or Europe?
Instead, Morris pulled a surprise by announcing that he would return to Stanford for another year and put off going to the pros. Nobody expected him back in school, but that's what he's doing. And when he's out?
It's going to be the Seattle Sounders, whose academy he was a part of and with whom he can sign a homegrown contract.
"Right now, I really want to go play for Seattle," Morris told the Stanford Daily. "It's a very comfortable place for me. If the offer is there after a couple of years [to go to Europe], then going there could potentially be an option. But right now, I am definitely going to Seattle."
Morris does hedge, saying that Europe could still come into play if the right offer comes along, but it's clear what his plan is. He is going home to Seattle and joining MLS.
Also, interestingly, Jurgen Klinsmann apparently supports his decision to return to Stanford.
"It's been a dream of mine to play for the National Team, and if staying would jeopardize that, I might have had to make a different decision," said Morris. "But from talks with them it seems that [Klinsmann] is comfortable with me staying and growing here."
Klinsmann has been outspoken about players challenging themselves, specifically in Europe. Not only is Morris not in Europe, but he's not even a professional and he's certainly not challenging himself the best he could. That Klinsmann would be happy with that is surprising.
It's possible that Klinsmann only told Morris he was comfortable with the decision because Morris already made up his mind. It's possible that, because Morris is younger, he doesn't want to push him too hard. After all, Klinsmann has said where to play and how hard to push is a case-by-case evaluation.
Regardless, Morris is staying at Stanford, and then he's eying the Sounders.