Seattle Sounders forward Jordan Morris was named 2016 MLS Rookie of the Year, the league announced on Thursday.
Morris scored 12 goals and had four assists in the regular season, helping the Sounders overcome a horrid start to the season and rally down the stretch to make the playoffs. That good form has continued in the playoffs, as the Sounders have reached the Western Conference final against the Colorado Rapids after dispatching Supporters' Shield and U.S. Open Cup-winning FC Dallas.
Morris beat Philadelphia Union defender Keegan Rosenberry and NYCFC midfielder Jack Harrison for the honors, garnering 47.3% of the player vote, 44.9% of the media vote and 42.7% of the club vote. Rosenberry played every minute for the Union in helping the club return to the postseason, scoring two goals and adding two assists in the process, while Harrison, the No. 1 overall pick in last January's MLS SuperDraft, had four goals and seven assists in helping NYCFC reach the playoffs for the first time.
Morris entered the season with massive expectations, after turning down overtures from Bundesliga club Werder Bremen for his services.
Morris became more of a focal point for Seattle after the departure of Obafemi Martins and the health scare to Clint Dempsey, and he responded with six game-winning goals.
Morris was slated to be part of the USA's roster to face Mexico and Costa Rica to open the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying Hexagonal, but he was forced to miss out with a hamstring injury suffered in the Western Conference semifinal second leg vs. FCD. His status for the series against Colorado remains in flux.