Jordan Morris appears to be very close to making his return, just in time to potentially give the Seattle Sounders a final push toward defending their MLS Cup.
The Sounders forward has been a full participant in training all week, mostly suiting up for the second team in full-sided drills but also seeing some time with the first team on Tuesday. Morris last played on Sept. 10 in a 1-1 tie with the LA Galaxy in which he suffered a hamstring injury.
There had been hope that Morris would be available in the first leg against the Houston Dynamo, but he was ultimately left off the gameday roster. Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer gave a reasonably strong indication that Morris could be in the 18 for Thursday’s second leg.
“He’s fine, he’s a tough kid,” Schmetzer said following Monday’s training session. “He’ll be ready.”
Being that Morris has not played a single minute in more than 10 weeks, the chances of him starting again this year seem slim at best. Still, adding a player with Morris’ speed gives the Sounders an attacking option that they simply haven’t had since he went out. That specific skillset hopefully won’t be needed on Thursday — as the Sounders hold a 2-0 aggregate-goal lead over the Houston Dynamo — but it would be handy in a potential MLS Cup final.
Also joining Tuesday’s training session was Osvaldo Alonso, who has been limited to a single 16-minute reserve appearance since suffering a quadriceps strain near halftime of the Sounders’ match on Sept. 27. Alonso has missed the Sounders’ last two playoff matches and had been limited to training on the side over the past several weeks.
Depending on Stefan Frei’s availability (he was off to the side on Tuesday), the Sounders may only be missing Brad Evans (back) and Roman Torres (suspension) as they head into the game that will determine whether or not they take the next step towards defending their MLS Cup.