How Will The Sounders Look Without Morris?

by Kevin Nesgoda

Welp there it is. The inevitable has happened, Jordan Morris has left Seattle after 5 years with the club. He has gone across the pond to English Championship side Swansea City AFC on loan for the remainder of the season. There is also an option to buy in there as well. The rumored amount is $5-$7 million, but that has yet to be disclosed. All this depends on the Welsh side getting promoted to the Premier League. They are in second place, so it is very likely that they will make their way back to the top flight. 

Now enough with the boring details of the transfer. It’s time to talk about the Sounders. Jordan Morris was a key component in the attack for 5 years. Especially once he made his move out on the left wing. His explosive speed and finishing will definitely be missed this next season. He had 43 goals and 21 assists across 131 matches. Finding a possible replacement will be tough to say the least. But the question is… What does this mean for the Sounders?  How will they look without him? 

Here’s what I think. We already know based on comments from boss man Garth Lagerwey that there won’t be any super exciting announcements regarding transfers. There is just not enough in the budget to do so. 2020 hit MLS, as a whole, HARD financially. Almost every club is going to struggle. But come on, this is the Sounders. They always have a plan and we know that they will deliver results. I do have a feeling the lineup will look a little different going forward though. 

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Normally, Schmetz likes to stick to his 4-2-3-1 and does not stray from it unless truly necessary. But without any true winger depth, it might be time to bring the formation in a bit more and make it narrow. I’m thinking 4-3-1-2. The team plays with a much more possession style anyway, so might as well amp it up. With the official signings of Rowe and JP, this will be the perfect way to bring them both into the starting lineup. For those of you who have been watching football for a long while, surely you would remember the great AC Milan team from the early 2000’s. I could see the Sounders playing in a similar style. With the players they have at their disposal at this current moment, it makes the most sense. 

Another thing I think we can expect to see is the youth movement. The Sounders have some incredible youth players coming through the first team. The main ones to look out for are Leyva, the strong midfielder who can pick a pass and has some good defensive awareness for his age. This last season did not go as planned due to his injuries, but 2020 will be his year. I’m calling it now. 

Attencio is another young midfielder to look out for. He reminds of another Goose type player. A traditional #6 with an eye for a pass. He has impressed in his starts with the Defiance this season so it’s safe to assume he’ll make the jump as well. 

The last player I’ll mention is Ocampo-Chavez. While his numbers are not the best in terms of MLS level striker, he is still a top prospect for the academy. He has trained plenty with the first team and has even made the bench. In a two striker formation, it’s not out of the realm of possibility to see him getting some playing time. Once he learns from Raul and Bruin, he can be a solid MLS level striker. 

There are definitely some positives to take away from this move for the Sounders. Those are probably more obvious for Jordan but that’s okay. He plays well, Swansea get promoted, and then he’s playing in the Premier League or earns a move to an even bigger club in Europe. The positives are a bit harder to see in the short term for the Sounders, but doing right by our hometown hero is not something that should go unnoticed. We also can’t forget about the possibility of a potentially massive payday at the end of this, something that could be used to set up the Sounders for years to come.

This Sounders team is definitely going to look very different this season. With the departures of so many key players, mostly Morris and Goose, and the inability to make marquee signings, it’s going to be rough to start. One thing is for certain though, we will figure it out without Jordan. It might take a bit, but the team will be okay. We are still one of the best teams in the league and we will continue to be. That is without a doubt.

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