Mercer Island’s Morris heads to World Cup with U.S. squad

Mercer Island’s Jordan Morris finally headed to the World Cup as a member of the United States roster in Qatar.

The U.S. squad battled Wales to a 1-1 draw in the teams’ opener on Nov. 21, nearly one week following the announcement that Seattle Sounders FC player Morris, 28, would be included on the 26-man roster.

Morris entered the Group B game in the 88th minute and registered three touches in his Cup debut and 50th appearance for the U.S. He was on the pitch for about 13 minutes since the match featured a plethora of stoppage time.

In a U.S. Soccer/Veritone press conference, Morris — who graduated from Mercer Island High School and continued playing college soccer at Stanford University — said that it’s an immense honor to be part of the U.S. Men’s National Team.

“It’s something that I’ve dreamed about since I was a little kid, to go to a World Cup. Throughout this whole cycle, just being part of such a special group and being able to represent your country and go to a World Cup — it’s amazing, so I’m so excited,” he said.

Morris received the stellar news that he would be traveling to Qatar from a Face Time conversation with head coach Gregg Berhalter on Nov. 16 while relaxing with his wife in their living room. After a celebration with his wife, Morris Face Timed his family and relayed the massive news.

“That’s something I told Gregg, ‘I can’t wait to tell my family,’ ‘cause they’ve been there since the beginning, supported me along my whole journey to get me to this point. I was so excited to share the news with them,” he said.

Morris said that he’s part of a close-knit national squad, which knows that it can compete with anyone in the world and will put its high skill level on display when taking on its foes. Personally, Morris said he’s been working hard each day in training and will be prepared to help the team during the Cup.

“If I step on the field, giving it my all and showing what I can do, but really just being the best I can be for the team and doing whatever I can to push the team forward,” he said.

He’s experienced some high and lows during the team’s four-year cycle and has rebounded from a pair of ACL injuries. After the second injury, Morris was optimistic that he could recover and make the squad.

“That was my whole goal through my rehab and something that pushed me every day was to hopefully come and be a part of the World Cup group. Now that’s here, just makes all that hard work worth it,” he said.

In a virtual hometown celebration, a handful of Mercer Island School District teachers took to social media to congratulate Morris on his upcoming soccer journey.

One of Morris’ former AP comp government English 12 block instructors, Dino Annest, said: “You’ve been nothing but a source of absolute pride since you left here, representing Stanford, the Sounders and your country. You’ve been the epitome of class and sportsmanship throughout all of it and we hope that you have a tremendous and an amazing journey in the World Cup. Good luck and go get ‘em.”

His third-grade teacher Lucy Anderson added: “Congratulations. I’m so excited for you to be going to the World Cup. I’ll be rooting for you. What an amazing experience — enjoy every moment.”