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Jordan Morris bypasses draft, allocation ranking to sign with Seattle

"The next great American star" has signed with Seattle, bypassing hurdles that other clubs had set in front of their Homegrown Player signings.

No one wants Major League Soccer to be successful more than I do. Having a domestic league full of great talent is great for everyone - fans get to see better soccer, quality players attract quality players, more people want to read online sports blog articles... Signing Jordan Morris is a great get for the Seattle Sounders and Major League Soccer. Wooing the phenom away from the Bundesliga's Werder Bremen is a fantastic accomplishment, which should be celebrated.

By my calculations, you'll be able to buy a vacuum cleaner from him on Twitter in 2027.

At the same time, fans of other clubs - the Philadelphia Union in particular - have a right to be a bit put-off by the latest signing. Seattle was able to sign Morris through the Homegrown Player mechanism, meaning that he was able to bypass things like the MLS SuperDraft (for college players entering MLS) and Allocation Order (for United States National Team members coming to MLS, since Morris has seven caps with the US). Seattle - long thought a darling of the league by fans outside of the Emerald City - got inarguably the best young player for nothing and without facing any competition for his signature. And they had the right to, as Morris played the requisite one year in the Sounders Academy before playing college ball while at Stanford. Somehow he was able to meet the 80 hours of training with the Sounders Academy while at college in Northern California to maintain his Homegrown eligibility, and the Sounders were able to beat out Bremen for his signature.

This makes the Keegan Rosenberry situation all the more frustrating. Rosenberry was a member of the Philadelphia Union Academy before heading to Georgetown University to play his college soccer. Rosenberry trained with the Union while with Georgetown, yet for some reason his Homegrown status with the Union was denied by Major League Soccer, and he had to enter the SuperDraft like every other college player not named Jordan Morris. I don't know all of the specifics about why the claim was denied, other than in the words of someone close to the situation, the Union got "screwed". But at what point will the league realize that when you have murky rules with a good amount of fluidity, the appearance of impropriety and favoritism is a real concern among large portions of fan bases? In a league that prides itself on parity, why is there none in the application of the rules? It's not like Seattle needs the league's help in signing top players, but a team like the Union could benefit from that (or the league buying a Clint Dempsey for them).

So good for Seattle, good for Jordan Morris, and good for Major League Soccer. Let's hope that at some point this sort of providence shines on every team in the league, not just ones we're hoping can finally beat a Liga MX team in the CONCACAF Champions League.