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Garth Lagerwey on Jordan Morris : The facts, the figures, straight from the heart - The truth
Sunday, 31st Jan 2021 13:18 by Keith Haynes

It’s always worth hanging around for a bit just in case there’s more to come from a transfer, loan deal or topical piece of football business. Luckily, you here who now follow us in your thousands get the dividend of proper and honest football reporting, and this time it’s straight from the heart of the Seattle Sounders with a real twist.

You get the impression as an open and honest Garth Lagerwey shuffles in his seat and makes himself comfortable that this is a guy who knows his American soccer ( apologies but that’s what they call it ) Lagerwey does know his soccer, he is the President of soccer and general manager of the Sounders. The 48 year old ex goalkeeper of not huge repute played for Miami Fusion and was in the MLS Pro 40 at the end of his career, whatever that means. However, any football person who played for the New Orleans Riverboat Gamblers gets my attention regardless.

Lagerwey knows his stuff, and it immediately becomes clear he absolutely loves Jordan Morris, and expects massive things from him at Swansea City, if he is given the chance.

“We wanted to send him to a familiar club, here we have Peter Tomozawa who has ownership links with Swansea City and Steve Kaplan who is the majority owner at D.C. United so we wanted that to happen, just so we can keep close tabs on Jordan. We will be watching how he is managed very closely. Are we optimistic about this ? Sure, but it’s up to Jordan, Cooper was keen to have him. They have a sporting director who was also keen to have him. It could be Jordan tears it up, it could be he wants to come home afterwards”


Lagerwey and Tomozawa the real Swansea City link

Who is Peter Tomozawa ?

It’s easier for us to do it this way. Here is a Tomozawa CV. But note he is minority owner at Swansea City and Barnsley ?

Following his retirement from Goldman Sachs, Tomozawa turned his skills toward other passions, utilizing his knowledge of financial markets and investment strategy to serve the state of Hawaii as its Department of Education Charter School Commissioner while also advising the Mayor of the City and County of Honolulu as Executive Director of Business Development. In that role, Tomozawa led negotiations of a financing agreement for a $6 billion rail project, selected vendors for the city’s short-term borrowing and helped administer its Park Improvement Plan. A business friend more than an associate of Steve Kaplan at D.C. United Tomozawa has come to the fore as another piece in the Swansea City jigsaw.

Money
Lagerwey - If Jordan signed for Swansea permanently it would beat all previous Sounders transfer fees combined, that’s every player we have ever sold. It’s a significant transfer. It gives us an opportunity to invest the first million in to the club to assist the salary cap, the rest in to the club itself. If Jordan signs for any club Swansea have the choice. So we hope he plays well. This is Jordan’s dream, we have to support him. We work in his best interests.

First contact
The ownership groups of the Sounders, D.C. United and Swansea know each other really well, here they talk all the time. That’s how this came about.


Lagerwey makes it clear the deal for Morris came from the USA majority owners

So how much will Morris cost Swansea in May if the permanent deal goes through ? Lagerwey - “ Seven million is something the press have mentioned, and those that have mentioned it do their jobs very well, I’ve no reason to question that. Jordan has made a huge impact on this community, we have reached a stage where at his age now he has to be decisive. In the MLS he has no real mountains left to conquer. Going to a foreign culture is going to be hard, the championship is far tougher than the MLS, it’s a higher standard, but I think Jordan will knock it out the park.

The effect
Jordan is going to Swansea which represents a significant saving for us as a club. Swansea pay everything, that’s hundreds of thousands of dollars for this move. Before this we had no money, now we have a far better financial future just because of this move. I now have two bags of gold, and now I have the capacity to do things here. Plus if Jordan moves from Swansea the knock on is significant as a sell on fee.

Brian Schmetzer coach at Sounders
The money, and that’s if the deal is permanent is great for the club we have to spend wisely and I know we will. This particular move gives him a chance to showcase his skillset and opens a number options for his future,” Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer said. “On top of that, I am excited to watch him play for Swansea.”


Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer


Tight family unit the Morris family

Swansea Independent delve into Jordan Morris and what makes him who he is
The Morris family were celebrating Christmas when they realized their nine-year-old son Jordan needed to go to the doctor. Recently he was losing weight, urinating often, extremely thirsty and exhausted. His mother, Leslie Morris, a nurse, suspected type 1 diabetes (T1D). Jordan loved sports and the next day he was dressed in his soccer outfit, ready to go to a tournament when they broke the news.

After being diagnosed with T1D, Jordan asked his mother Leslie if having diabetes meant he was going to die. “When the doctor told him he had diabetes, he heard the word ‘die’ and he was scared,” says Leslie. But once he learned he would live and it would be okay, and even beneficial, to play sports, he knew that diabetes wouldn’t hold him back.

And it hasn’t, as Jordan was the first person with T1D to play for the National Soccer Team and in Major League Soccer. After he joined the Stanford University team, they won the NCAA National Championship and he was selected National Player of the Year. He was also called up to play for the U.S. Men’s National Team. Jordan now plays professional soccer for the Seattle Sounders FC, his hometown team. He was 2016 Rookie of the Year and recently scored the game winning goal for the U.S. Men’s National Team in the Gold Cup final against Jamaica.

Jordan’s journey was a team effort with a lot of support from his close-knit family through high school and then teammates and coaches in college. His parents took him to practices and games to watch over him. Jordan’s father, Michael Morris, MD, who is an orthopedic surgeon at Virginia Mason and Chief Medical Director for the Seattle Sounders, also helped him plan his nutrition and exercise regimen. His two older brothers Christopher and Julian were protective of him and, along with their younger sister Talia, encouraged him along the way. Michael Morris MD served the Sounders for many years in a medical capacity.

“We taught our kids how to help if he experienced a low blood sugar,” says Leslie. “Jordan was also very responsible and learned quickly that the more he took care of himself, the better he felt.” Now that’s a success story.


Morris on his Swansea debut

Swansea Independent view
First off Peter Tomozawa has clearly been a part of the link in the deal, and of course Stephen Kaplan key to gettime Morris away from Seattle. It’s unlikely many Swans fans have heard of him before, having stake in Swansea and Barnsley may raise eyebrows but it’s difficult to find a genuine conflict of interest - but clearly if you look hard enough anyone can make anything out of any issue. This transfer was USA driven, we have have heard that today in this interview. Kaplan seemed confident enough that Morris was good enough for the swans, and let’s be realistic if anyone is Morris is. Albeit some comments from the MSL question Swansea City as a club with sufficient pedigree to enhance his skills, which is their arrogance or more likely ignorance on the success of the club in recent times as the best club side in Wales.

All of a sudden Kaplan is finding some money to invest in the swans, however we all know invest in his terms means claw back eventually. No USA business with little or no relation to Swansea City and who only got involved when the club were in the premier league is going to give cash away that’s for sure.Morris was a shrewd move, Cooper clearly content with it when it was brokered to him by Julian Winter called Morris personally before the move, as he does with numerous players including Conor Hourihane, a nice touch which makes the player feel wanted.

It’s nice to see some American involvement but don’t think this is a sentimental thing, it isn’t, this is pure business so Cooper will be under the gaze of all MLS watchers, plus and of course Kaplan. Seattle Sounders have no doubt had certain agreements in place with Kaplan who indeed has his eye on Paul Arriola coming over to Swansea either now or in the summer.

Well, here we go again, the swans are on the up, in the news and once again being talked about across the world

What do you think ?
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Photo: Action Images



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ReslovenSwan1 added 13:39 - Jan 31
Time for the average 'Jack ' to ditch the fake narrative of the jobbing accountants and others on the Trust board. Clear the swamp and buy into the 'transatlantic brains trust' I say. There is a coherent strategy and philosophy for the club.
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