Excited as we may all be about Jordan Morris' potential, there continues to be an air of uncertainty around his future. That's probably going to be the case up until the moment he puts pen to paper.
In the meantime, you can expect a fair amount of dissection every time he talks about his post-Stanford plans, and his recent interview with Men in Blazers gives us plenty to unravel.
After going through the experience of starting and scoring against Mexico -- and then following up with another goal against the U23 team -- Morris was finally asked about his as-yet-unstarted professional career. Here's what he said:
"As of right now, I'm just trying to focus on my time [at Stanford] and work hard while I'm here, both on and off the field. The plan is to finish out next season and see where it goes from there. But most likely I'll end up going to Seattle; that's my hometown club. It's great to go back and live with my family and be around them. I'm definitely more of a homebody type of kid. It would be harder to go over to Europe, but definitely not completely ruling that out if options open up there."
He was then asked if European teams have been reaching out to him.
"No, not really. It's more I have some connections now with [U-23 coach Andreas Herzog] and Jurgen [Klinsmann] and they could set some stuff up over there if that's the path I want to take."
So probably not exactly what a Sounders fan wants to hear, but none of that should be entirely surprising either. All things being equal, it sounds as if he's perfectly happy to sign his first pro deal with the Sounders. At the same, he's doing what any rational person would do: keeping his options open for something bigger.
But back to that quote about living with his family. The Sounder at Heart editorial staff spent a good deal of time discussing it, debating whether he meant that he intends to literally live "with his family," as in his childhood home. He gives some credence to that line of thinking by adding the bit about being a homebody.
Thinking of it that way, it makes it seem especially likely that he'd want to spend at least a few years with the Sounders before setting off for Europe.
Even if he doesn't mean it literally -- and just likes the idea of living near his family -- it's still a seemingly good sign for the Sounders. At the very least, it suggests someone is going to have to give him an "offer he can't refuse" in order to go straight to Europe. Such an offer does not seem to be on the table, right now.
For all the attention surrounding Morris, keep in mind that talk of finding a lucrative offer tends to be much more likely in the abstract than in reality. Juan Agudelo, for instance, was basically the same age as Morris will be at the end of the next college season, had a more established international and professional resume, and couldn't get a U.K. work permit before returning to MLS. Morris could surely find a club elsewhere in Europe, but finding a deal lucrative enough to lure him away from "home" hardly seems like a guarantee.
Of course, it also appears as though Morris' national team coaches are perfectly happy to help him find such a situation, which probably isn't what the Sounders want to be reading about.
In other words, there will continue to be reasons to feel uncertain about Morris' Sounders future. What he won't be doing, is rushing his decision.