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USMNT v Ireland Gamethread: The Jordan Morris Debut?

DeAndre Yedlin is back in Seattle, but Sounders Academy prospect Jordan Morris is expected to make his USMNT debut in the last USMNT match of the year.

Will DeAndre Yedlin be just the first Sounders Academy graduate to debut in 2014?
Will DeAndre Yedlin be just the first Sounders Academy graduate to debut in 2014?
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

National TV Listing:

USA Men's National Team (USMNT) versus Ireland
Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland
ESPN2, 11:45 AM, Tuesday

Three Big Storylines:

  1. Jordan Morris is a product of the Sounders Academy that when not in Europe auditioning for agents and clubs training with the USMNT, is a Sophomore at Stanford.  If he earns his debut he will be the first college player since 1995 to make his full national team debut while still in college.  Morris's story has been covered on this site extensively, here is the latest including how training is going on this call up.
  2. DeAndre Yedlin is back in Seattle after starting and playing 86 minutes against Colombia on Friday in London.  Yedlin made his USMNT debut on January 3rd, 2014.  With this being the last match for the USMNT in 2014, The Sounders academy could bookend the calendar with debuts.  If Morris does earns his first cap, it will be a remarkable achievement for the Sounders and the Academy to have two players make their senior debut in the same year.
  3. Ireland come into this game off a 1-0 loss at Scotland in European Qualifying.  The Irish now have seven points from four played and are in a three way tie for second in Group G with Germany and Scotland, trailing Poland who have ten points also from four played.  The loss at Scotland was a big disappointment and is widely being pointed at by the Irish media as the three points that will keep them out of EURO 2016 in France.  Robbie Keane has been released and is back with the Galaxy.  As this is the last FIFA date of the year, this is also Ireland's last game of the year.

From a Sounders perspective, this match is all about #TheFuture.  Yedlin and Keane are back preparing for a playoff match (Note that I had a really good Yedlin winning a header over Keane photo all picked out and ready to go) so the focus switches to Jordan Morris.  It is worth pointing to Big Storyline #2 above and reiterating two things.  Two academy products making full national team debuts in one year?  I am going to say that is an outlier in MLS academy history.  And Yedlin made his debut this year.  How quickly he has gone from being a young prospect "just getting his feet wet" to one of the first names on the team sheet is amazing.

That's all for now, expect an MLS gamethread this weekend for the 'other' game.

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