Morris given permission to depart USMNT camp as Swansea rumors swirl


U.S. men's national team forward Jordan Morris has been given permission to depart camp as reports continue to link the Seattle Sounders star with a move to Swansea City.

Morris has been part of the USMNT's combined camp with the U-23s, which is currently being held in Bradenton, Fla.

However, in recent days, Morris has been linked heavily with a loan move to Swansea City, with The Athletic reporting that the Seattle Sounders star's temporary move to the Welsh club is imminent.

Swansea currently sit in second place in the Championship as the club currently finds itself in a battle for promotion near the top of England's second tier.

The Swans appear close to adding a dynamic option atop the field in Morris, who has been one of the top attacking players in MLS for several seasons.

Morris has 35 goals and 20 assists in 105 MLS games for the Sounders, having reached MLS Cup four times while winning the trophy twice.

Internationally, Morris has 10 goals in 39 USMNT appearances, including the game-winning goal in the 2017 Gold Cup final against Jamaica.

The forward's club career has long been a subject of debate, with Morris being in the public eye since 2014, when he became the first college player to be called into a USMNT squad since Chris Albright was called up in 1999.

Shortly after, Morris was the subject of interest from Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga, but the forward opted instead to sign with his hometown Sounders, where he has remained ever since.

However, recently Morris admitted that he was open to trying his hand at European soccer.

"Yeah definitely," he said when asked about the idea earlier this month. "Some conversations are ongoing, with Seattle and in Europe a little bit. I think that, for me, it's a similar stance of kind of where I was before MLS Cup: If the right offer and the right team comes forward, it's something that I'd be interested in.

"If things don't work out and I end up in Seattle, I love being there and I feel like I'm growing a lot in Seattle. I think the league is growing, the quality of play is getting higher and I've felt myself develop there really, really well.

"But yeah, if the right opportunity came, it would definitely be something that I would look at. I guess we'll just have to kind of wait and see a bit, but still definitely open to those opportunities."

Morris may not be the only USMNT regular bound for Swansea, as Yahoo Sports reported on Wednesday that D.C. United's Paul Arriola is also drawing interest from the club.

The links to loan moves come amid some uncertainty regarding the MLS season, which has no official kickoff date amid a new round of Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations.

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In addition to Morris' departure, U.S. Soccer confirmed that goalkeeper Sean Johnson has left the squad after being diagnosed with a minor knee strain.

The NYCFC goalkeeper will not recover in time for the team's upcoming friendly against Trinidad and Tobago on Jan. 31 in Orlando.

U.S. Soccer confirmed that no replacements for Morris nor Johnson will be added to the squad.