TUKWILA, Wash. — Even as the club announced the loss of Jordan Morris for the season with an ACL tear, Sounders general manager Garth Lagerwey was confident of the team’s chances as it prepares for a CONCACAF Champions Leg second leg against Santa Tecla Thursday and its season-opener Sunday against LAFC.
Lagerwey urged caution to those who felt the Morris injury portended doom.
“I think we have a good team,” Lagerwey said. “I’m going to go out on a limb and say we have a good team because we have 16 guys back from who have played in the last two MLS Cups and we’ve won a title. I think Clint Dempsey is a really good player. I think Will Bruin is a really good player. I think they’ve been really good players for roughly a decade.
“This idea that the sky is falling because we miss a player for an injury is preposterous to me… I honestly find it disrespectful that we are underrating our locker room and our players and we’re not giving credit to the guys that got us here. You do not look at one game in the final and say ‘man, everything stinks, we’re going to redo this whole team from scrap.’”
Lagerwey continued, recalling that the team was strong enough to find success while Morris struggled with injuries in 2017.
“We need to replace Jordan,” he said. “Jordan was a really good player. Brass tacks, we played for four months without Jordan last year. We lost one game in that time. We’re going to be patient, we’re going to look for the right deal. We’re going to bring in a DP player if that’s appropriate. We’re going to bring in a TAM player if that’s appropriate. We believe in this group. We believe that we’re a good enough team to start this season.”
Lagerwey has already stated that Morris’ injury will necessitate the acquisition of a new forward to replace the 23-year-old’s speed. It is clear he expects the team’s depth to allow the club to spend time looking for the right player before buying, potentially until the summer transfer window if necessary.