The fear that the Sounders had lost forward Jordan Morris for the season turned out to be true.
The 23-year-old Morris suffered a torn ACL on Saturday in a CONCACAF Champions League match against Santa Tecla FC in El Salvador, Sounders general manager Garth Lagerwey confirmed Monday morning.
“We are going to rule him out for the season,” Lagerwey said of Morris.
“We are going to do what is best for Jordan’s career long-term. We think he is a Sounder for the long-term, he is in the club’s long-term plans. Jordan is part of the Sounders, that has not changed that will not change. We are going to do what’s best for him long-term, which may mean a longer recovery.”
The Sounders now begin the tough process of trying to replace the 2016 MLS Rookie of the Year. Lagerwey said Seattle won’t rush into finding a replacement for Morris – the club has options with Clint Dempsey, Will Bruin and Lamar Neagle. But this wasn’t a position Lagerwey expected to fill on the cusp of the MLS season.
“We had a really good complement of skill sets of playing in that position in a 4-2-3-1 (formation),” Lagerwey said. “Obviously, we’re going to have to revise our search a little bit.”
Morris, a Mercer Island native, had an injury-plagued 2017 season, scoring just three goals and seeing his campaign end early due to a hamstring issue. He responded on his Twitter account Monday afternoon, thanking supporters for their well wishes.
Very humbled by all the love and support. Thank you all! I'm so sad I won't be out in front of you guys playing right now, but I promise I'll work hard everyday to comeback stronger and get back on the field playing for the team and city I love #SSFC 💚💙 pic.twitter.com/U2BuR99hDJ
— Jordan Morris (@JmoSmooth13) February 26, 2018
The Sounders’ regular season starts March 4 against expansion franchise LAFC at CenturyLink Field.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.