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USMNT boss Gregg Berhalter appreciates how Sounders handled Jordan Morris’ loan

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“I think it’s an example to a lot of clubs in MLS.” - Gregg Berhalter

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There is no getting around the reality that the Seattle Sounders are taking a short-term hit and long-term risk by allowing Jordan Morris to go on a six-month loan to Swansea City. But they are signing off on the loan because of a promise they made to Morris when the player spurned an offer from the Bundesliga’s Werder Bremen to sign with his hometown team back in 2016.

The six-month loan not only handicaps the Sounders for at least half the season, but also carries the risk of injury. But the pitch the Sounders have made to Morris all along was that they wanted to be a partner in the his development and would not stand in his way when he felt it was time to make a move.

That the Sounders made good on that promise did not go unnoticed by United States men’s national team coach Gregg Berhalter.

“This is a player that played a long time in Seattle,” Berhalter told the media on Monday. “When we see how Seattle handled it, it’s an example to a lot of clubs in MLS [of] how to handle a player who has been loyal to your club and repay some of that loyalty. They did a great job of sending him on loan and giving him that opportunity.”

Berhalter was also happy with where Morris ended up.

“We have a good relationship with the coaching staff at Swansea and had long conversations about what they wanted to achieve this year and how they’re going to use Jordan,” he said. “I think he’s going to be in good hands.”

Part of what makes the move some compelling is that Swansea will likely be fighting for promotion for the rest of their season. Currently, they’re second in the EFL Championship, the last of two automatic promotion spots.

Morris is likely to be thrown into the thick of that fight, with his debut potentially coming on Wednesday against fourth-place Brentford. The Swans are currently equal on points with third-place Watford and lead Brentford by just two points.

“This is what Jordan was striving for,” Berhalter said. “For Jordan, it’s an opportunity to help his team get promoted. That’s a great achievement in soccer. The automatic promotion is one thing but the promotion playoff is the most expensive game in soccer, right? It’s a good challenge for Jordan, a great challenge for Swansea to see if they can get into the Premier League.”