After tearing his ACL in February 2018 and missing that entire season, Jordan Morris returned in 2019 to score 10 regular-season goals alongside a career-high seven assists while leading the Sounders to the No. 2 seed in the MLS Western Conference and a first-round playoff win last Saturday.
For those efforts, Morris has been named MLS Comeback Player of the Year, the league announced Tuesday morning. He is the third Sounders player to do so, joining Eddie Johnson in 2012 and Clint Dempsey in 2017.
“Obviously it’s a big honor, and I’m just grateful to be back on the field this year after last year,” Morris said. “I’m thankful for all the people that helped me get back out here — the training staff, teammates, family, everyone that supported me through a tough year last year.”
Morris, a Mercer Island native, beat out Mark-Anthony Kaye (Los Angeles FC) and Kacper Przybyłko (Philadelphia Union) for the award, which “honors an MLS player who has overcome injuries and/or adversity in order to achieve success during the 2019 regular season.”
The recovery from injury was only part of Morris’ transformation coming into the 2019 season.
“I told myself I was going to have a new attitude coming back this year and not take anything for granted,” Morris said. “I realized how lucky I am to be out here every day because it can get taken away for a year pretty quickly.
“So having that new attitude has helped a lot, just being grateful for being a soccer player every day — getting to do what we do is special.”
Morris also returned to the U.S. men’s national team, scoring two goals and recording five assists in 11 appearances. He scored a goal in the Americans’ 7-0 win vs. Cuba on Oct. 11 and logged 90 minutes in the 2-0 loss to Canada last Tuesday.
The Sounders are 9-1-2 this season when Morris records a goal or an assist, including his hat trick in Saturday’s wild 4-3 win against FC Dallas in the first round. His final goal was the winner, coming on a header off a deflected shot at the end of a frantic sequence.
The Sounders play Real Salt Lake in the second round of the MLS Cup playoffs at 7 p.m. Wednesday at CenturyLink Field.
“I appreciate all that (individual recognition), but it’s not what’s most important,” Morris said. “I’m most excited that we got through the first round and we’ve got another game coming up.”