Soon after the United States national team’s Copa America roster went public Saturday — without his name being included — Jordan Morris turned to Twitter.
But if Twitter is often known for 140-character rants followed by apologies “to anyone who might have been offended” … well, that’s not the style of this Seattle Sounders rookie.
“Good luck to the boys at Copa!” Morris began. “Can’t wait to watch.”
Then he even fit in a few words about the Sounders and their game that night against the Colorado Rapids.
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On Tuesday, Morris was back training with the Sounders while fellow forwards Clint Dempsey and Nelson Valdez were away with the USA and Paraguay national teams, respectively.
Meeting with local media afterward, Morris was asked about his graceful tweet in the face of what he admitted was personal disappointment.
“It was just heartfelt,” he said. “I just honestly wanted to wish them all the best and just get ready for the game against Colorado and shift my focus now toward playing in Seattle, because that’s all in the past now.”
Morris said he learned about his omission through a phone message from national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann one day before the roster was announced on national television.
“He told me not to take it too hard, that there was a lot of competition,” Morris said. “I completely respect his decision. There were a lot of good forwards and they were playing really well. I wish those guys all the best. It’s going to be a lot of fun to watch this summer.”
Klinsmann publicly offered that it came down to a decision between Morris and San Jose forward Chris Wondolowski. Morris is 21, with seven caps and a club-high four MLS goals. Wondolowski is 33, with 27 USA caps and seven goals in this MLS season.
With Klinsmann framing it as a one-or-the-other deal, Morris offered nothing but praise for Wondolowski.
“He’s such a good finisher in the box,” Morris said. “He’s great at other things, but he just knows how to score goals and knows his way in and around the box, and I think he’s better than me at that for sure, and that’s important as a player — as a striker — to find those goals. I think we have different skillsets and Jurgen went with his, which is totally understandable. He’s a great player — a really good player, someone I’ve looked up to.”
While most Seattle fans seemed to be rooting for Morris to get the national-team call, his omission could benefit the struggling Sounders, who are six points out of the Western Conference’s lowest playoff position.
Seattle has two more games before the league breaks for Copa America — at New England on Saturday and at D.C. United on June 1 — and will play them without Dempsey and Valdez. Morris was asked if the club can benefit at least from having him and Brad Evans wearing green instead of red, white and blue.
“Either way, I think the team would have done great,” he said. “Losing a lot of people, I guess can be tough. It would have been four if both of us had gone. But the team has other players who can step in and play those roles great. I don’t think it would have been too much different.”
Seattle forward Oalex Anderson suffered a hamstring strain in the 1-0 loss to Colorado, and he has been ruled out for the coming two-game trip. However, coach Sigi Schmid said defender Chad Marshall is expected to be available after sitting out last weekend with a hamstring injury. … The Sounders will training at Starfire Sports Complex again Wednesday before leaving for New England on Thursday.