The bittersweet moment we’ve been expecting has finally happened. Jordan Morris has left the Seattle Sounders, having been loaned to Championship side Swansea City for the remainder of their 2020-21 season. This move certainly raises questions about the present and future for Jordan, the Sounders, and us — the fans.
When the news officially broke I was listening to Left and Leaving by The Weakerthans. I didn’t time this and it certainly wasn’t on purpose, but sometimes life is just like a sappy indie movie. The song details the author’s relationship with the place he’s from and how things are too familiar; longing for something that isn’t so known. Forgive me because I know not every analogy is perfect, but I wonder if that’s the motivation behind Jordan’s move — both for him and for us.
From the get-go there was external pressure for Morris to ply his trade abroad. As soon as Jordan signed with his hometown club, pundits and US Soccer fans alike said it was a mistake. They said he needed to go to Germany to make himself a better player. Staying with the “familiar” was destined to be a mistake. It’s impossible to prove an unknown, but what we do know is that Jordan became the player everyone, even his critics, thought he could become. If he hadn’t, we wouldn’t be talking about this transfer at all.
We experienced exactly 5 years of the highest highs and the lowest of lows with Jordan. He lifted MLS Cup twice and became a Best XI player while playing in front of us. He also experienced an injury that could’ve ended his career, but came back even stronger.
There’s the short term and the long term to examine at this juncture, and it can be difficult to unpack the emotions as a fan. Morris leaving the Sounders definitely makes the team worse, and given the constraints of the deal, the team can’t just replace him right away. At the same time, we want to see Jordan do well. Of course we do! That’s the tricky thing about dichotomies — they’re always pulling us in different directions. This isn’t a typical breakup in the cheesy indie movie sense, mostly because the future is still up in the air. But perhaps a move away from Seattle makes both us and Jordan better off in the long run.
There are positives to take away from this move for Morris and the Sounders. Those are probably more obvious for Jordan. He plays well, Swansea get promoted, and then he’s playing in the Premier League or a move to an even bigger team in Europe. The positives are a bit harder to see in the short term for the Sounders, but doing right by our hometown hero is not something that should go unnoticed. There’s also a potentially massive payday at the end of this, something that could be used to set up the Sounders for years to come.
The practical soccer things here are a future transfer for Morris gives the team a lot of money to spend, but right now I’m not so interested in those things — mostly because we don’t know what is in the future. We have an opportunity to see Jordan take us with him, where ever he ends up. And that’s special.
The song I referenced has a lyric that goes: “All this time. Lingers, undefined. Someone choose. Who’s left and who’s leaving?” Perhaps we’re the ones left and Morris is the one leaving, but in the long term we will always have the time together.
The Sounders will figure it out without Jordan, that I’m certain will happen. It might take some difficult times ahead, but that’s okay. Today, tomorrow, and in the future we should always see us in wherever he goes. He’ll be thinking of you.