What was thought in December to be a quiet offseason for the Sounders FC because of salary-cap constraints is turning into a possible exodus of pillars of the organization.
Jordan Morris, a homegrown player from Mercer Island, is the latest Sounder rumored to be signing elsewhere, as multiple reports Friday indicated the star winger is in talks with Swansea City AFC. The transfer window opened earlier this month and Morris could be loaned by the Sounders to play for Swansea City located in southwest Wales.
According to The Telegraph’s Mike McGrath, the Championship club would “beat out Bundesliga clubs including Wolfsburg and Bayer Leverkusen to land the 26-year-old after competing with Fiorentina in Italy for the Seattle Sounders winger.”
Any move might wait until Morris returns to the Sounders. The forward is training in Florida alongside Sounders teammate Cristian Roldan with the U.S. men’s national team.
Morris, who was named to Major League Soccer’s Best XI last season, reiterated Tuesday his interest in playing in Europe. Morris first expressed the possibility before the Sounders’ MLS Cup loss to the Columbus Crew SC in December.
“Definitely some conversations are ongoing with Seattle and in Europe a little bit,” Morris said during the USMNT news conference. “It’s a similar stance of where I was before MLS Cup. If the right offer and the right team comes forward, it’s something that I’d be interested in.”
This is the second time a European club has aggressively courted Morris. He trained with Werder Bremen of German’s Bundesliga in January 2016 and turned down a contract offer to sign his first MLS contract with the Sounders.
Morris has developed into a prized winger for the Sounders. He scored 10 goals and had eight assists last season. He’s also grown to be a leader for the USMNT where Morris also has 10 goals and eight assists in 39 caps.
While MLS has yet to release a schedule and is currently in negotiations for a new collective-bargaining agreement with the Players Association, Morris is preparing for a busy stretch with the national team.
USMNT is reconvening after a stunted 2020 schedule due to the pandemic, preparing for Olympic qualifying, World Cup qualifying and the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
“If things don’t work out and I end up in Seattle, I love being there and I feel like I’m growing a lot,” Morris said. “The league is growing and the quality of play is getting higher. I feel myself developing there really well. But if the right opportunity came, it would definitely be something I would look at and we’ll have to wait and see a bit.”
The Sounders expect to announce a new contract for coach for coach Brian Schmetzer, but sporting director and VP Chris Henderson, who’s been with the club since 2008, is expected to leave for a similar position with Inter Miami CF.