MLS Soccer

Contract offer just formality in Sounders’ pursuit of young star Morris

Seattle Sounders FC has made a written contract offer to national team forward Jordan Morris, although the move doesn’t actually put the club any nearer to signing the young star forward.

“The written contract offer is a formality,” general manager Garth Lagerwey said Friday. “… One of the things we have to do under MLS rules is present a formal written contract to preserve our rights. … Jordan has known for a long time that we want to sign him, and Jordan is going to make whatever decision is best for him, and we’re OK with it. Hopefully at some point Jordan wants to be a Sounder. He’s said he does, and I believe him.”

The contract offer was first reported this week by Sports Illustrated, which called it “one of the most lucrative offers ever for an MLS homegrown player.”

Morris is a graduate of Sounders FC Academy and has played with the Pierce County-based Sounders U-23. He chose to attend Stanford, and is now a sophomore there. Morris also has been called to the United States senior and U-23 national teams, and scored goals for both this month.

All that has raised his profile nationally and internationally. However, Lagerwey said that should not affect the Sounders’ pursuit of him.

“More people have figured out that Jordan’s a good player,” he said. “But we got to see Jordan, so we thought that Jordan was a good player a long time ago. I think Jordan has a good relationship with the Sounders — I have nothing to indicate differently. He’s going to make the decision that’s best for him, and we’re going to respect that, and hopefully he’s wearing the rave green at some point.”

SI’s report said no signing is expected until 2016.

MARSHALL SUSPENSION

Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said the club wasn’t surprised by the MLS Disciplinary Committee’s decision to suspend central defender Chad Marshall one game for a dangerous play last weekend at Colorado.

“We felt that it might be a possibility,” he said. “I looked at it again. For sure he was a little high, but if you look at it the ball sort of jumped up there too — his foot wasn’t really far off the ball. … It wasn’t a surprise once we heard they were going to look into it.”

Schmid indicated that veteran Zach Scott will fill in for Marshall at 6:30 p.m. Sunday when the Portland Timbers visit CenturyLink Field.

ADDED TIME

The Sounders trained briefly through hail Friday, which Schmid said was a first for the club. … Lagerwey said the Sounders and Seattle Seahawks will work together on potential home-field conflicts now that the 2015 NFL schedule has been announced. The Seahawks play three home games in November, when the Sounders hope to be in the MLS playoffs. … The Sounders plan to open the full seating area of CenturyLink Field for a few games again this season, although those games have not yet been announced.

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