The Seattle Sounders are doing all they can to sign Jordan Morris. General manager Garth Lagerwey confirmed reports that the club has offered the forward the richest ever homegrown contract in MLS history as they continue their efforts to land their academy product.
Morris is a Seattle native who was part of the Sounders academy before going to Stanford University. There, he blossomed into one of the best young players in the country. In addition to his play for the Cardinal, Morris became a member of the United States U-20 team, then the star of the U-23 team that is attempting to qualify for the Olympics.
On top of Morris' considerable youth team accomplishments, Jurgen Klinsmann called him up to the senior team, making him the first college player to play for the Americans' top squad since 1999. Morris earned his first cap in November of 2014 and scored against Mexico five months later. He has continued to get call-ups all year, despite still being an amateur playing for Stanford.
Most expected Morris to make the jump to the pros last January, after another standout season for Stanford and having collected his first U.S. cap. But he opted for another year in school despite the Sounders' attempts to sign him.
If Morris chooses to sign with MLS, it will be as a homegrown player with the Sounders. That is his most likely destination, and he has hinted that when he turns pro, he'd like to play for Seattle. With the richest homegrown contract before him, there is good reason to believe that he will sign it and become a Sounder for next season, but he has surprised people with his decisions before. A return to Stanford is still a possibility - albeit unlikely - while several European clubs will certainly be trying to sign him as well.
Klinsmann and the rest of the U.S. almost certainly wants Morris to leave college and get into a pro setup so he can continue his development. The 21-year-old would benefit from playing at a higher level, be it in MLS with Seattle or abroad, and the Sounders are doing all they can to make sure it's with them.