In case there was any lingering doubt as to U.S. Soccer's preference about the next step in Jordan Morris' career, Andi Herzog effectively put that to rest. The USMNT assistant and U23 head coach clearly indicated he helped arrange the Werder Bremen training stint and hopes more young Americans choose to play overseas.
"Our goal is to bring as many players as possible to Europe," Herzog is quoted as saying in German publication Kreiszeitung (via Google translate).
Herzog also seems to think his former team would be helped immediately by signing someone like Morris. Herzog played for Bremen from 1992-1995 and again from 1996-2001.
"He is very fast, intelligent, power has no end, is a beefy player," Herzog said. "In a one-on-one the defender usually has a disadvantage. Werder has not as a player. But his qualities must be sure yet refined."
While none of this will come as a huge shock, it still won't lessen any frustrations Sounders fans may be feeling toward U.S. Soccer. Having promising young players whisked away before they've even had a chance to contribute to the MLS team that helped move along their development is far short of ideal. At the same time, it's not that hard to see it from their perspective. Fighting for minutes on a team in a top European league -- even one potentially facing relegation -- will test Morris in ways he won't be here.
That's not to say all hope should be abandoned of Morris playing in Seattle, though. As much as Herzog and other U.S. Soccer coaches may want Morris to go to Europe, the Sounders seem to feel as though they left things on good terms and were aware of Morris' plans to train with Bremen. Sounders GM Garth Lagerwey even termed the contract negotiations "cordial" and there doesn't seem to be any dispute over money. The Sounders have all along said they were comfortable with letting Morris make the decision he feels is best for him, and Lagerwey indicated nothing has changed in that regard.
Frustrating as it may be, all there's left to do is wait. A decision will likely come in the next couple of weeks.