It wasn’t exactly the most formal announcement, but the Seattle Sounders have officially confirmed that Cristian Roldan and Jordan Morris have signed multi-year contract extensions. Sounder at Heart previously reported that all five years of Roldan’s contract are guaranteed while three of the five years on Morris’ contract are guaranteed.
Rather than issuing a press release, Sounders GM Garth Lagerwey simply confirmed previous reports.
“Jordan and Cristian are both signed long-term,” Lagerwey said during the first day of training camp on Tuesday. “The reporting that I have read is accurate for the most part. They’re multi-year contracts, they’re significant investments. What I’d say is that we’ve committed resources to those young guys who have meant a lot to the franchise. Hopefully they mean a lot going forward. That does impact who we can bring in because we’ve allocated some resources there. We feel like those are good long-term choices and consistent with our philosophy that we really want to have a stable core.”
For Morris, the extension comes as a sign of confidence in his ability from the club after he missed last season due to a torn ACL. Over the potential five-year life of the contract, it could be worth up to $1 million per year if Morris is able to hit his incentive bonuses.
Morris, 24, will now be placed on the senior roster and his salary will count against the cap, something he was exempt from on his Homegrown Player contract. The end of his richest-ever HGP deal frees up room on the Homegrown budget, which has already resulted in the signing of 19-year-old goalkeeper Trey Muse.
“(The extension) feels great,” Morris said. “I love this team. I love this city. I think we have a championship quality team here and I want to push for that the next few years. It’s super exciting. It’s a huge honor for the Sounders to believe in me and want me to come back. I appreciate the front office and the coaching staff helping me through that when I needed to be here. This is the city that I grew up in. I’m excited to be here and have that respect from the coaches and the front office to want me here. It means a lot. It’s a huge honor to do what I love in the place where I grew up.”
Roldan, meanwhile, is said to have signed a five-year, $4 million extension that is fully guaranteed. The 23-year-old has become an indispensable part of Brian Schmetzer’s midfield, playing the full 90 minutes in 48 of Seattle’s last 50 regular-season matches.
The two players, who are close friends off the field, represent the Sounders’ willingness to invest in proven American talent. The contracts seem designed to keep players from sniffing overseas offers and ensure that Seattle has the face of its organization secured for the future.