Jordan Morris’ first goal, he described as “amazing.” And his second goal on Saturday? Morris described that more like you would expect a player would who expects to score and score often.
“Victor (Rodriguez) made a great run and it was a perfect ball and I was fortunate to put in in the net,” he said.
No big deal. Except it was a big deal for Morris and the Seattle Sounders FC.
Morris’ two goals in the 2019 season opener were the highlights of the 4-1 victory of expansion Cincinnati FC at CenturyLink Field. But it also meant the team’s young goal scorer has recovered from a torn ACL after a season spent on the sidelines.
Morris broke a 1-1 tie with goal No. 1, the first he had scored since Aug. 5, 2017. It requires some recall, but Morris actually finished the 2017 season on the sideline, too, because of a hamstring injury.
The much-missed connection of Nico Lodeiro and Morris came together in the 33rd minute. Lodeiro sent a pass to Morris, who ran into the box and knocked a shot off a Cincinnati defender and past the goalkeeper to make it 2-1.
“I love playing with Nico; I make a run and he finds me,” Morris said. “I tried to slide in the back post and got lucky with a little deflection there. They all count the same so it’s all good.”
After scoring, Morris laid on turf for what appeared to be minutes. Teammates mobbed him, too, recognizing the moment.
“It was amazing,” Morris said. “It was an emotional moment for me and my teammates, they helped me get through last year. There were some tough moments last year and they understood that there were going to be some tough moments getting back to form.
“They’ve been so supportive so it was good to have that team embrace was something special.”
That goal ultimately proved to be the go-ahead score, but Morris added another that sealed Cinncinnati’s fate.
On a Sounders counter attack, Rodriguez powered down the field and connected on a cross with Morris, who was streaking into the box. His calm left-footer made it 3-1.
It was the second time in his career, and first in Seattle, that he had scored twice in a game. He also scored twice in a 4-2 victory at the LA Galaxy on Sept. 25, 2016.
He stayed on the field until the 77th minute and received another round of raucous applause from the Sounders faithful. He’s yet to play an entire game but feels like he’s getting closer to being able to do that.
“Feeling good,” Morris said. “Feeling really good tonight.
“Of course I respect the coach’s decision to take me out but I was feeling good pretty good, obviously. But (playing a full game) is going to come as the season progresses and I got a little tired near the end, but that’s also due to playing a new position. Overall feeling good and hopefully I’ll play a full 90 soon.”
Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer practically beamed about Morris and the team’s performance in the season opener. It was the first time since defeating the New England Revolution, 3-0, in 2015 that the Sounders opened with a win.
“There are times where I feel like a proud dad,” Schmetzer said.
“That happens, I’m proud of all those guys in that locker room. They did a great job tonight, staying composed after (Cincinnati scored the first) goal (of the game to lead 1-0). Top to bottom, I thought it was a pretty good performance.”