I have a silly personal story about Jordan Morris. I knew him "before." Before the Gatorade State High School Player of the Year, before the USSDA Player of the Year, before the U-20, U-21, U-23 and full United States National Team calls. I met Jordan Morris when he was a mere child. He and his family were regular customers at a coffee shop that I still hold dear to my heart. His dad and I talked USL Sounders. Jordan would have a hot chocolate, or maybe a Frappacino. I didn't know him as a soccer player. We didn't really talk. He was just one of the neighborhood kids.
It's not really a great story. It's more a symbol than a tale. It's a sign about the power of what having a great Academy can be. It's not just about call-ups and sell-ons. Some portion of the greatness is that the players who come up through the system and sign as pros are Sounders right in their blood.
They don't need training about the culture of the team. They've lived it. Look at Morris.
His father is the long-time Sounders doctor. The director of his youth club prior to joining the Sounders Academy is Sounder Chance Fry. His high school coach, who passed just two years ago, is one-time Sounder Steve Neuman. His Academy coach, Dick McCormick, a Sounder. His U23 coach, Darren Sawatzky, a Sounder.
Jordan Morris knows what it is to be a Sounder, whether he ever plays or the First Team or not. He is a Sounder. His home is our home. There are dozens of other future pros in the Academy system. They may not play for the US National Team. They may only play for the future USL PRO side, but they'll be Sounders.
They'll drink the hot chocolate you make, pump gas at the same station, go grocery shopping next to you, mall rat where you mall rat. And their kids, they'll be doing the same thing, probably also playing or the Sounders.