Jordan Morris did not have much of an offseason after winning the MLS Cup with the Seattle Sounders.
But he tried to make the most of it.
Shortly after the team’s chilly celebratory parade downtown in mid-December, he took off for a warmer climate with his family: A 10-day vacation in Costa Rica.
Oh yeah, he also got his wisdom teeth pulled.
“That was pretty fun,” he said, sheepishly, after his first preseason training session with the club Sunday at CenturyLink Field.
“No, it wasn’t fun,” Morris said. “It was terrible.”
What wasn’t terrible was how Morris, Seattle’s second-year forward, spent much of January and early February. He was one of 32 players brought in for the U.S. men’s national team camp in Carson, California.
And he was one of the young players veteran U.S. national team coach Bruce Arena kept pointing out as an impact player.
That praise kept coming long before Morris tallied the game-winner in the 59th minute for Arena in the team’s 1-0 victory over Jamaica in a friendly Feb. 3 in Tennessee.
“Before, nobody really knew who he was,” said Sounders defender Brad Evans, who was in national team camp with Morris and fellow Seattle teammate Chad Marshall. “Now that he’s had a full (MLS) season under his belt, he came in demanding a lot of himself. He demanded the ball.
“He staked his claim as a top striker.”
This was the fourth consecutive year Morris saw action with the U.S. national team. He acted more like a veteran.
“The first few camps, you are coming in as the new guy, the young guy,” Morris said. “I am not a loud personality in any way, on the field or off the field. But once you get more comfortable, and I got to know the guys a little bit more, it definitely helped out in terms on the field being confident.
“In general, it was a little bit better.”
Even with a short offseason, Morris said his body feels strong and refreshed.
“I am ready to get going,” he said.
The three Sounders who finished up with the national team took a direct flight back to Seattle a week ago while the club was in training camp in Tucson, Arizona. That gave them a few extra days off, minus a few small workouts, before reporting to Sounders training Sunday. … Even though it was his first day with a few new teammates, Morris singled out forward Will Bruin and recently-signed midfielder Gustav Svensson as guys who caught his eye. … Injured goalkeeper Stefan Frei (ankle) continues to make his way back. At the end of last week, he ramped up goalkeeper-specific action in goal — and continued that on the north end of CenturyLink Field on Sunday. … New midfielder Harry Shipp (ankle) and veteran Osvaldo Alonso (knee) did individual work and was not involved in live scrimmaging Sunday.