There remains no good reason for Jordan Morris to have missed the game at the Columbus Crew. Bruce Arena and the United States held a camp well outside of the recognized FIFA international window. Now, there is evidence that despite a request from Seattle Sounders President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey, Bruce Arena still refused to let one of Seattle’s forwards return to their professional team, as Matt Besler did to Sporting Kansas City.
ESPN’s Julie Stewart-Binks said the following during pregame today, according to MLSSoccer.com:
“The decision raised some eyebrows around the league,” she added, “including those of Seattle general manager Garth Lagerwey, who requested the release of one of his forwards [Clint Dempsey and Jordan Morris] for Seattle’s game against Columbus midweek, and was denied. Now Arena told me he uses it on a case-by-case basis based on what his national-team needs are.”
USMNT head coach Bruce Arena is reported as saying that he never spoke to Garth Lagerwey, nor did anyone with the Sounders make a request to get a player back.
Arena's contention is that he never spoke to Lagerwey and he didn't refuse the request.— Jeff Carlisle (@JeffreyCarlisle) June 4, 2017
Dempsey is starting for the USA in their friendly against Venezuela Saturday night. Morris is only on the bench. It is reasonable to think that Morris would have been available on the bench even if he started in the midweek loss at Columbus.
Seattle is in need of forwards — or any players at all — in their match against the Houston Dynamo on Sunday night, too. There is a strong likelihood that they do not have a full bench for their home game. Will Bruin may need to play through the pain of a dislocated elbow. At least the defense is likely to be at full strength, unlike the Wednesday loss.
If there is one lesson from this whole early-camp saga it is that Jordan Morris, even while having a fairly poor season, is more important to the US National Team than Matt Besler.