What a return for Jordan Morris.
Morris, a Mercer Island native, missed all of last season with a torn ACL. His return to CenturyLink Field did not disappoint those in attendance, as Morris scored twice in a 4-1 route of expansion FC Cincinnati. His first goal, which took a deflection of a defender, was the first time he has found the back of the net since August of 2017.
Morris’s teammates tackled him in a show of love and support that would make anyone in Rave Green’s eyes water. As a fan, you really felt happy for Morris and his teammates exemplified that feeling. Morris wasn’t done, however, as ten minutes later he took a pass from Victor Rodriguez and fired it – with his left foot, mind you – past goalkeeper
The effort earned Morris the first MLS Player of the Week honor of 2019. The Player of the Week is selected by a combination of media and fan voting. The media vote is comprised of panel of journalists from the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) and makes up 75 percent of the vote, while a Twitter fan vote represents the other 25 percent. NASR consists of members of print, television, radio and online media.
Even though the Sounders looked clinical early on, it was FC Cincinnati who struck first on Saturday, with Leonardo Bertone firing an absolute strike off a bad clearance past goalkeeper Stefan Frei from 20 yards out in the 13th minute. They didn’t have long to celebrate however, as Seattle went back to work and defender Kelvin Leerdam was able to push a rebound past Tytoń in the 27th. Morris would score his first six minutes later, followed by his second and the Sounders would take a 3-1 lead into the break.
While the second half was a much slower affair, Seattle was able to net one more goal as Raúl Ruidíaz was able to pick up where he left off in an impressive 2018 campaign by skipping one past Tytoń on a break in the 87th minute.
The night was extra special for the Sounders, who dedicated the game to their late former coach Sigi Schmid. Schmid’s family was on hand to accept a Golden Scarf on his behalf. Also in attendance were members of Seattle’s inaugural 2009 team, including Brad Evans, Kasey Keller, Sebastian Le Toux, Lamar Neagle, and Roger Levesque. This season marks the Sounders’ 10th in MLS.
It was the kind of win Seattle needed as they look to reverse a recent trend of starting off seasons slowly. With MLS switching to a single elimination playoff system this year, coach Brian Schmetzer and crew know that every win counts. Last season’s strong second half was enough to push them into the playoffs for a 10th straight year, but it’s not the kind of thing you want to rely on regularly.
The Sounders will return to CenturyLink Field on Saturday, March 9th to take on the Colorado Rapids.