The Sounders went to El Salvador and returned with a 2-1 loss, and now, a possibly season-ending injury for their star striker.
Sounders striker Jordan Morris will be lost several months after suffering a torn ACL in his right knee during Thursday’s loss to Santa Tecla FC in El Salvador.
The team is refusing all comment until Monday but a source confirmed Saturday that an initial diagnosis of a torn ACL was made on site at the game. Morris flew back home with the team on Friday and then was to undergo further testing Saturday and Sunday to gauge the full extent of the damage.
A report Saturday by Fox soccer analyst Stu Holden suggested Morris would be out six to nine months, but that’s impossible to tell at this stage, with further testing needed to gauge potential damage to additional ligaments and his meniscus.
The injury is a severe blow to a Sounders team that had been counting heavily on Morris as part of its 2018 plans. The Sounders were badly outplayed by Toronto in the MLS Cup final and improving the attack had been a priority for the club over the winter.
The hope had been that an improved Morris, healthy again after missing three months due to a torn hamstring last season, could jumpstart the attack with Will Bruin occasionally playing up top alongside him in a revamped 4-4-2 diamond formation.
The injury occurred in the 85th minute when Morris, making a run with the ball towards the Santa Tecla goal, collapsed untouched to the artificial turf. He later limped off the field favoring his right knee and was seen on crutches shortly afterwards.
An initial diagnosis of an ACL tear was made at the game — Morris’ father, Michael, the team’s doctor, was on site — via a quick external exam.
A more thorough evaluation of the injury via MRI would be needed once swelling subsides in order to gauge the extent of the damage to other ligaments and his meniscus. Such injuries often happen as collateral damage when an ACL tear occurs.
That testing is not yet complete.
The team insists it did not divulge any information to Holden, a former player who has contacts among players currently still within the league.
The Sounders, already reeling from a plethora of injuries, face Santa Tecla in the second leg of their CONCACAF Champions League match on Thursday at CenturyLink Field. Their season opener is at home Sunday against Los Angeles FC.