Yes, homegrown rookie Jordan Morris has scored two goals in his last two games, moving into a tie atop the Sounders’ Golden Boot race -- although, granted, with central defender Chad Marshall.
But goals aside, Morris seemed to have clearly the best game of his short pro career Saturday at Colorado. After training today, we spoke with him and with coach Sigi Schmid.
On his goals and game: I think it’s an adjustment obviously coming to a different level of play. Just getting that confidence to take people on and then doing what I think I can do in the game is important. It took a few games, but I think it’s coming along.
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On preference for where he plays: I think playing up front is my natural position, but I’ll play anywhere to help the team. I think I do feel a little more confident up front, but wherever I play I just try to go out there and do my best and work hard.
On playing without Dempsey and Valdez: They’re both very good players, so when they’re not there you’re going to notice that. They’re both two good players going forward, and when Clint’s in there, he helps create. It’s always tough when you’re missing two great players like that.
On playing with Herculez Gomez: Herc’s a great player and a great leader. He talked to the young guys before the game, and he was always talking during the game. It’s easy to play with him on the field.
On difference between MLS and Pac-12: The speed of play is quicker. The MLS is a very athletic league with big, strong, fast defenders that aren’t easy to break down. I think it sometimes doesn’t get enough credit for that. There are some very, very good players and some big, strong guys. I think those are the two main differences I’ve noticed.
On if it was his most complete performance: Yeah, probably. I feel like I’ve been getting more comfortable making those runs in behind. Playing what I consider to be my game a little bit more, just trying to put that fear into the defender and play on their back shoulder. Hopefully I can keep on doing that, and at the same time keep working on the combination play with Clint and the other guys.
Coach Sigi Schmid
On Morris: Just confidence. The guys have a better idea of what he’s going to do and where he’s going to go without the ball, and he has a better idea now of making those runs as well. Both of his goals have really come from the right, and just his understanding of when to come inside has gotten better.
On if it was his best performance: We don’t want to heap pressure on him. I think he’s getting more confident, he’s learning what needs to go on. He’s still very young in his pro career – seven MLS games in – and he’s figuring it out.
Finally, a few other notes from training:
Dempsey (groin) and Valdez (hamstring), who were held out of the Colorado match, trained Wednesday. However, Schmid did not commit to their availability for Saturday. However, Schmid indicated that forward/midfielder Andreas Ivanschitz (thigh strain) likely will be unavailable. … Midfielder Osvaldo Alonso will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Seattle Mariners’ game against the World Series champion Kansas City Royals on Sunday at Safeco Field. … The Sounders will return to training Thursday at Starfire Sports Complex.