In the latest chapter of the Jordan Morris saga, United States Men's National Team coach Jurgen Klinsmann has publicly urged the Stanford junior to drop out of college and go professional after sealing his school's first-ever College Cup trophy last week. Klinsmann is pretty clear on what he thinks is best for the player...and the USMNT:
"He has to decide what is his next step. His next step obviously has to be becoming a professional."
Klinsmann has been urging Morris to begin his professional soccer career for awhile now, and some have even speculated that Morris' national team call-ups were an attempt to prod him in that direction. After winning the Cup and being a finalist for the prestigious Hermann award, Morris has basically hit the ceiling for success in college soccer.
Morris' most likely professional destination would seem to be the Seattle Sounders, his hometown club, after playing a season with the academy and being offered the highest Homegrown Player contract in MLS history. The fly in the ointment is that Klinsmann doesn't exactly have the highest opinion of MLS, and there are rumors he's been encouraging Morris to go to Europe. During ESPN's College Cup broadcast, Taylor Twellman even said that a Bundesliga club had offered Morris a contract.
"He needs to play in order to be in a good position to be a continuous part of the national team program, and also the Olympic team that will hopefully qualify for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro at the end of March."
Morris has stated over and over that he wants to stay at Stanford, both to play soccer and to finish his degree. After all, Stanford is one of the most prestigious universities in the world, and Morris worked extremely hard to get there. On the other hand, Morris is one of the most talented players that collegiate soccer has produced in recent history, and one more year in college is one less year for the player to prove himself in a real, professional league.
Whatever happens, Morris is in the driver's seat of his own career, and he should be applauded for not bowing to pressure from some of the biggest names in his chosen profession. Let's just hope he finds his way to Seattle in the near future.