Jordan Morris has been named MLS Rookie of the Year for 2016. The 22-year-old Stanford University product signed the richest homegrown contract in MLS history with the Seattle Sounders back in January. He arrived with a great deal of hype thanks to having already been capped with the United State’s Men’s National Team before making his professional debut.
After finishing his soccer career at Stanford, he attracted attention from European clubs. He had a trial with Werder Bremen in Germany during the preseason and even got a contract offer from them. He turned that down, however, in order to make some bank in his home country to open his professional career.
Jordan Morris Named MLS Rookie of the Year
Morris would certainly live up to that hype and paycheck in his first season. He scored 12 goals on the season. That total is second to only Cyle Larin, who won the award last season, as the most for any rookie in MLS history. He was one of the major reasons that Seattle Sounders were able to turn around their awful first half and end up not only making the playoffs, but hosting a knockout round match. He also scored in the first leg of Seattle’s 4-2 aggregate victory over FC Dallas in the Western Conference semi-final.
He was called up to the national team for this weekend’s World Cup Qualifiers, but had to drop out due to a hamstring strain picked up during training for the big game against Mexico. His presence will be missed on the USA bench, but his health for the conference final against Colorado Rapids is more important.
It’s safe to say this is a well deserved honor. No other rookie stood out nearly as much as Morris did. Keegan Rosenberry of Philadelphia Union, who finished second in the vote, was a most very strong right back, but he could not compete with Morris’s impact up front. Jack Harrison of New York City FC came in third, but his four goals and six assists while playing on the wing failed to attract the same attention.
Morris won the vote with 44.95% of the overall votes between MLS players, coaches, and media members.