Sports

Morris set to join American national men's soccer team

Stanford sophomore forward Jordan Morris will be missing part of the men's soccer season and it's for a good reason: his country needs him.

Morris was among 22 players, and the lone college player, called into camp by U.S. Men's National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann for a friendly against the Czech Republic on Sept. 3 in Prague.

Kickoff for the first meeting between the teams on Czech soil is set for 11:15 a.m. PT and the match will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network and UniMas.

The match is the first of the 2018 FIFA World Cup cycle and Klinsmann is taking the opportunity to look at young talent. Of the 22 players coming to Prague, 15 are age 24 or younger. There are 11 players with 10 caps or less, and six looking to make their debut for the Senior National Team.

"We have watched Jordan through our Youth National Teams and in the Development Academy for the last couple of years, and he is a very promising player," Klinsmann said. "We saw him during our two weeks at Stanford for the World Cup preparation camp, and also from his play with U-23 team in the Bahamas, and we felt like this was a good opportunity to introduce him to the Senior Team."

Stanford coach Jeremy Gunn could not be happier.

"It is an unbelievable honor to be recognized by the National Team coach and to be invited into camp for one of their international friendlies," he said. "It is quite an achievement for Jordan and one I'm sure he will cherish."

Morris played with the U.S. Under-23 team at its five-day camp from Aug. 3-7 in Nassau, Bahamas. That trip featured a match against the Bahamas Senior National Team on Aug. 6, a 5-1 U.S. win in which Morris' header in the 58th minute broke a 1-1 deadlock.

Morris, named the 2012-13 Development Academy Player of the Year for the U-18 age group while playing for the Seattle Sounders FC Academy, also earned three caps with the U-20 side at the Toulon Tournament in France in early June 2013 that summer.

"He has continued to develop every day and keeps getting better and better," Gunn said. "It's very well-deserved and something he will take in stride. Not only is it an incredible pat on the back, but it should definitely serve as inspiration to keep pushing forward and to continue improving as a player."

Morris was named to the MAC Hermann Watch List, the most prestigious individual award in NCAA soccer, earlier this month.

On Wednesday, Morris was one of three Cardinal players selected to Top Drawer Soccer's top 100 preseason list. Morris was named No. 2, and is joined by teammates Brandon Vincent (No. 25) and Zach Batteer (No. 62).

"In every walk of life you want trailblazers leading the way," Gunn said. "This shows our team that absolutely anything is possible, to dream big and then back those dreams up by chasing after them as hard as you can."

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Stanford Athletics

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