Just in case there was some doubt that Jordan Morris' inclusion in the United States national team camp was something less than an honest commentary on the Stanford sophomore's potential, Jurgen Klinsmann put that to rest in a wide-ranging interview with reporters ahead of Wednesday's friendly against Czech Republic. ESPN's Jeffrey Carlisle has the full interview, and it's really worth a read, but the part that should be of particular interest to Seattle Sounders fans is at the very end when the conversation turns to Morris.
Klinsmann clearly believes Morris has the tools to contribute at the international level and has so far been impressed by what he's seen from the Sounders Academy product so far.
"He's a forward, very simple, he reads the game very well ahead, he sees the space in front of him and can take people on one-against-one," Klinsmann told reporters. "At the same time he knows his path is a different one."
Morris has been on Klinsmann's radar for about two years, ever since Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid alerted the U.S. manager of "this special kid coming through the academy."
Morris did his part in showing well at various youth training camps and really impressed Klinsmann with his showing at the pre-World Cup training champ when he and his Stanford teammates were scrimmaging against the United States. At that point, Klinsmann indicated it was just a matter of time before he gave Morris a closer look at a senior-national team camp.
"I had a long talk with Jordan and his dad, and Jeremy Gunn, his coach, before making this call. And I kept the Sounders in the loop, just saying, 'If we do something exceptional, we're doing the right thing and not overshooting anything here.' I gave him time to think about it. I told him, 'If not now, we can do it during January camp. But we feel like you can do that already.'"
It should also come as a bit of a relief that Klinsmann seems fine with the idea of Morris signing his first professional contract with the Sounders, even if Europe may be in the young man's future.
"Going forward, this kid can only get more and more and more, better and better. So after having those conversations, I said, 'You know what? This is fine.' If he comes on the field or not [on Wednesday], he got the introduction to our world, how we do things. He understands it better. He has the choice now to say, 'OK, am I jumping on the Sounders track in January, or am I considering another year, or am I considering maybe even going to Europe?' He has those pieces on the table that he can discuss with his family and his dad and with his coaches to hopefully make the right decision for him."