Jordan Morris's 2018 season is over before it even began.
The Seattle Sounders and U.S. men's national team forward has been ruled out for the whole MLS season by his club after suffering a torn ACL in a CONCACAF Champions League round-of-16 match last week. The injury happened in the 83rd minute of a 2-1 loss to Salvadoran side Santa Tecla FC, when Morris attempted to chip the ball off the outside of his right foot
“We are going to do what is best for Jordan’s career long-term," Sounders general manager and president of soccer Garth Lagerwey told the club's official website. "We think he is a Sounder for the long-term, he is in the club’s long-term plans. Jordan is part of the Sounders, that has not changed, that will not change. We are going to do what’s best for him long-term, which may mean a longer recovery.”
Morris was set to play a vital role for the Sounders in his third year as a professional. He followed up his 12-goal, Rookie-of-the-Year-winning 2016 with a disappointing, injury-riddled three-goal campaign in 2017, but he still helped Seattle reach a second consecutive MLS Cup final.
As Morris looks to recover in anticipation of a return in 2019, the Sounders are left down a significant piece just days before the season kicks off against expansion side LAFC. Veterans Clint Dempsey and Nicolas Lodeiro will continue to lead the attack, while Will Bruin could see more minutes depending on how manager Brian Schmetzer plans to deputize his team. Bruin started in 20 of his 31 appearances last season and scored 11 goals.
The Sounders, who carry an away goal, will look to turn over its deficit to Santa Tecla on Thursday night, before opening the MLS season on Sunday.