Commentary: Jordan Morris is much more than just your undoubted MLS Comeback Player of the Year

If there was any question before yesterday, there shouldn’t be now: Jordan Morris is Major League Soccer’s Comeback Player of the Year (he’s a finalist – but he is in my mind). And he’s officially a bonafide star who gets to play for his hometown team.

I don’t need to remind anyone that this time last year, the Mercer Island native was recovering from a torn ACL, suffered before last season even began. Yesterday, he was scoring three goals, including the game winner in overtime in a playoff game. It was his first career hat trick and the first postseason hat trick by any Sounders player in franchise history.

Oh, and he also missed seven games this season with a hamstring injury – and still scored ten goals with seven assists in the regular season, leading Seattle to the playoffs for the 11th straight year.

Between all of the heroics yesterday was the reminder of the challenge Jordan faces head-on every single day with Type 1 Diabetes: There he was, on the Sounders bench after 90 minutes of regulation, pricking his finger to check his blood-sugar levels, before returning for overtime where he scored the game winner.

For Jordan, it’s part of a normal routine. But a couple weeks ago, our Ian Furness reminded all of us what kind of inspiration an athlete like Jordan can be.

After every game – win, lose, draw – Jordan Morris meets with kids who have Type 1 Diabetes. That recently included Ian’s son, Kiefer, a 17-year-old who was recently diagnosed – turning the high-school athlete’s world upside down – not to mention his parents’ too. Like many young athletes, Kiefer’s biggest concern was not being able to play sports anymore. Take a listen to Ian’s account of that meeting.

It is more than sports. But when you have a role model athlete like that – one who plays for the national team and one who has overcome the odds himself since his diagnosis at the age of 9 – it makes you even more proud to be a fan.

And for Morris, who has also launched a foundation to educate and support children with Type 1 Diabetes, comeback seasons like this – and especially performances like yesterday – become even more special. This team is still alive to make history, and Morris is a huge reason why.

In the end, one game does not make a season. But a historic performance in a playoff game certainly solidifies what we knew before it even started: Jordan Morris is not just Major League Soccer’s Comeback Player of the Year in my opinion. He’s a good person too. And a fantastic representative for the community in which we live.