TUKWILA, Wash. – The Seattle Sounders still don’t have a definitive recovery timeline for injured forward Jordan Morris following an MRI on his strained hamstring. But head coach Brian Schmetzer says his team is preparing for the reality that the reigning MLS Rookie of the Year could be in for a lengthy absence down the stretch of the regular season.
Speaking with reporters at Seattle’s Wednesday practice at Starfire Sports Complex, Schmetzer said the MRI revealed a “significant” strain to the injured hamstring that Morris suffered in the second half of the Sounders’ 1-1 draw against the LA Galaxy on Sunday.
“We’re not talking about days anymore, we’re talking about weeks,” Schmetzer said. “We’ll take it week-by-week. … Time will be the good factor or the bad factor. If he comes back in time to help us, great. If not, that’s totally up to his healing process.”
It’s unclear how exactly the injury will impact Morris’ availability for the US national team’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers in October, but a weeks-long recovery period would likely rule him out.
As far as how the Sounders will cope in the meantime, Schmetzer reiterated on Wednesday that he’s confident he has the talent at his disposal to capably pick up the slack and make whatever stylistic adjustments may be necessary.
Spanish midfielder Victor Rodriguez could be an option to fill in for Morris. Rodriguez has yet to find the scoresheet or tally an assist in the three appearances he has made since debuting on Aug. 23, but the La Liga veteran appears to be getting more comfortable by the game and has flashed some impressive chemistry with fellow playmaker Nicolas Lodeiro.
“We still have a deep team,” Schmetzer said. “Bruin and Dempsey have been scoring a pile of goals. We need to get some of the other guys to chip in there a little bit to account for Jordan. It’ll be an adjustment with the style we [play] without Jordan. Jordan’s very effective stretching the field for us, so we’ll need to solve that one.
“But we have a strong enough team to compete in any given [game].”
Bruin, for his part, told reporters on Wednesday that he’s feeling fresh physically and is ready to shoulder however much of the load he needs to ahead of Seattle’s final six matches of the season. Their next one, on the road against FC Dallas, comes on Saturday (8 pm ET | MLS LIVE).
“It’s a long season but not playing as many minutes as I’m used to, I feel good,” Bruin said. “I still feel like it’s early on in the season, not the last few weeks. So, I think that’s a good thing for this stretch.”