Just when you think all will go quiet until Jordan Morris actually decides what he's going to do, something new develops. This time, it's Andi Herzog claiming he was "completely misquoted" by a German publication that gave a very strong impression U.S. Soccer officials were actively pushing Morris and other young Americans to Europe and away from MLS. Among the more notable lines from the interview was Herzog being quoted as saying, "Our goal is to bring as many players as possible to Europe."
Herzog's latest comments were made in English to U.S.-based reporter Kyle McCarthy, and it gives a very different impression of what's going on behind the scenes.
"Maybe for one it is better to go to another country to start. For the other one, maybe he needs the surroundings, the family around him, the friends around him. That's a huge interest. That's important for everyone. It's important for Jordan that he feels confident and that he starts his professional career right now in the best shape possible because it's important for our men's national team and the Olympic team, too."
Herzog also says that contrary to the German report, he did not actually set up the Werder Bremen training session and that the Bundesliga club has been scouting Morris for six to seven months. Herzog acknowledges his former club asked him for an opinion on Morris, but that he wasn't actively pitching the player.
Taken on their own, Herzog's latest statements paint a picture that makes it seem far more likely Morris will choose to ultimately sign with the Sounders. And it should be said that the Sounders still seem somewhat optimistic that's what will happen.
But how much of this is simply damage control and how much is either something being lost in translation and/or being genuinely misquoted is impossible for us to know at this point. At the very least, it would appear that someone at U.S. Soccer -- and almost certainly MLS -- was not very pleased with the optics of the USMNT's top assistant and U23 head coach seemingly undermining the domestic league.
Suffice it to say, this story appears to have a few more twists and turns before we reach anything resembling the end.