Jordan Morris battling against Grenada last week. (Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports)
By Michael Lewis
Minutes after the U.S. men’s national team salvaged a 1-1 draw at El Salvador, goal-scoring hero Jordan Morris entered the locker room amid cheers from his teammates.
“This is a guy that hasn’t played much throughout this camp, walks into the locker room and the whole group went nuts started cheering his name,” head coach Gregg Berhalter said.
And for good reason.
Morris headed home a Luca de la Torre feed at the stroke of 90 minutes in the Concacaf Nations League match in San Salvador on Wednesday night.
“It been a while since I’ve scored for the national team. So, it’s an emotional moment to both on the field and then after the game to see my teammates kind of embrace me like that,” Morris said. “We’re super fortunate here to have a great group of guys and it was a great moment.”
It was Morris’ 11th international goal and fifth in the CNL. He hadn’t scored for national side since striking twice in a 4-0 victory over Cuba in a CNL encounter on Nov. 19, 2019.
He has scored some memorable goals, including against Mexico in a friendly in 2015 and the game-winner for the USA in the Concacaf Gold Cup final in 2017.
And now this dramatic goal.
“It was a tough game obviously, tough conditions, tough environment, playing against a good team,” Morris said. “I thought the fight and the team was really, really good, that the energy that we brought was really, really good.”
Morris came off the bench, replacing Tyler Adams in the 80th minute.
“As a guy coming off the bench, you just need to be ready whenever your name is called,” he said. “That’s just kind of my mentality is if I get a chance to go and just try and do whatever I can to help the team. I was just you know, happy to be able to do that. So, it was a good to get out of there with a with a point.”
The game was played in slop – in the rain and the mud at Estadio Cuscatlan.
Morris? He welcomed it.
He’s been there and done it, especially in the rain as a member of the Seattle Sounders.
“It was fun,” he said, remembering “the fields that you used to play on as a as a kid. Being from Seattle, obviously, it’s not the mud but the rain. I love playing in the rain. So, I was just embracing that moment. I think the team is a group just embraced the challenge. We knew it was going to be a really tough game and they’re a good opponent. The conditions weren’t ideal. The field wasn’t ideal, but we didn’t make any excuses. We pushed hard together as a team.”
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