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Jordan Morris ‘is going to feature’ against Galaxy

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Nico Lodeiro could start, while Raúl Ruidíaz is more questionable.

SOCCER: SEP 14 Leagues Cup Semifinal - Santos Laguna at Seattle Sounders FC Photo by Jeff Halstead/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Jordan Morris will make his first appearance of the season against the LA Galaxy, Seattle Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer told KJR on Thursday. Morris has been training with the Sounders for a couple months and has been a full participant for about two weeks. Schmetzer had expressed some hope that Morris would be eligible to play last week, but the winger ultimately didn’t receive medical clearance. That finally changed this week.

“Jordan Morris is going to feature in the Galaxy game,” Schmetzer said. “The doctors have given him the medical clearance. He will feature.”

Barring any unforeseen setbacks, this would be a rather remarkable recovery. Morris tore his left ACL in February while on a six-month loan to Swansea City and had surgery to repair it on March 11. Although the recovery timeline for such an injury is usually 6-9 months, it was assumed by most that Morris would miss the entire season. That’s exactly what happened when he tore his right ACL in 2018.

But Morris has been seemingly ahead of his previous timeline throughout the recovery process. In August, Schmetzer started expressing some optimism that Morris might return in time for the playoffs. That appears to be exactly what will happen.

Although it’s unclear what kind of role Morris will play, even if it’s only off the bench his skillset should be useful. No one else on the roster can match his game-breaking speed and no wingers have displayed his scoring ability. Morris also has extensive experience as both a No. 9 and as a second forward.

The Galaxy game could also mark the return of Nicolás Lodeiro to the starting lineup and Raúl Ruidíaz to the roster. Lodeiro made his first appearance in about six weeks when he logged 24 minutes against LAFC on Tuesday after recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery. Ruidíaz has missed the Sounders’ last seven games after injuring his hamstring against the San Jose Earthquakes.

“If Nico’s knee doesn’t swell up and he feels good, there’s a really good chance he starts the game and we’ll just see how long he can go,” Schmetzer said. “I’m not afraid to start him.”

Schmetzer said Ruidíaz’s availability is a bit more of an open question.

“Raúl is close,” he said. “He may make it, but his long-term health for the playoffs is a little more important. He’s going to go in for testing and we’ll see.”