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TUKWILA Tierna Davidson Jersey , Wash. (AP) — The last couple of weeks have felt like a blur for Jordan Morris, even if they’re filled with moments he’ll likely always remember.There were the three assists and one goal while playing for the United States in a win over Cuba. There was the disappointment of a 2-0 loss to Canada a few days later. That was followed up by Morris bagging his first career hat trick at the perfect time as the Seattle Sounders beat FC Dallas 4-3 to open the MLS Cup playoffs.To cap it all off, Morris was named the MLS comeback player of the year Tuesday after missing all last season following a major knee injury.“You never know what the knee is going to feel like or if you’re going to come back being the same player. Obviously, those doubts start happening once in a while,” Morris said. “To be kind of where I am now, and I was looking back talking with my family and my girlfriend about where we were a year ago, and to be here now is super special. So, again, grateful to be back out on the field.”The 24-year-old would seem to be in line for a little rest. But that won’t come until after Wednesday night’s Western Conference semifinal against Real Salt Lake. After that, Morris will either get five days off before facing either LAFC or the LA Galaxy in the conference finals, or an entire offseason.The Sounders would like to see at least one more match on the schedule with the way Morris has been playing.“He’s a lot stronger, a lot fitter since his injury and he works hard and has a different perspective on life,” teammate Cristan Roldan said. “Honestly as tough as it was for Jordan it was a blessing in disguise because he’s been tremendous and has a great mentality going forward.”Morris finished with 28.23% of the vote from players, team staff and media to win the comeback player award. He beat out fellow finalists Mark-Anthony Kaye (24.5 of Los Angeles FC and Kacper Przbylko (8.63%) of Philadelphia.After a sluggish start, Morris was outstanding in helping Seattle finish second in the Western Conference in the regular season. He switched positions and is playing more on the wing, but still managed to find himself with numerous goal-scoring opportunities. He finished the regular season with 10 goals and added seven assists.They’re not overwhelming numbers. But asked to take on a new role, Morris thrived and found what he hopes is a long-term position after several years of getting moved all over the park.“I think the biggest adjustment is it’s a different type of fitness. You’re constantly moving, you’re up and back. As a forward you’re sprinting and then recover slower sometimes Christian Pulisic Jersey ,” Morris said. “But as a wide mid you’ve got to get back. I think defensively my game has evolved a lot more this year, which I think a lot of it comes with that second half of the season when I could feel like I could play that position and get up and back and feel more physically fit in that sense.”Morris said playing for the U.S. during the Gold Cup this summer was a turning point. When he returned from that stint, Morris felt his fitness was where it needed to be and with it the confidence in his knee. Morris found that summer stint with the national team a far different experience than his first call up in March.“I remember going into that first national team camp I got called into in March and just feeling really behind the pace, behind the speed of play,” Morris said. “We were doing possession drills and I just didn’t feel up, obviously that’s a whole other step up, but I just didn’t feel like myself. And coming into Gold Cup, (I) felt better and obviously after Gold Cup, started to feel really good with the Sounders. I think that was the turning point a little bit that I was back to myself.”Seattle’s clash with RSL is one of two conference semifinals on Wednesday, with NYCFC hosting Toronto in the Eastern Conference. On Thursday, Atlanta United hosts Philadelphia followed by El Trafico in the battle for Los Angeles. PARIS (AP) — Thierry Henry’s international playing days ended in controversy and his coaching career has started in embarrassing fashion.Three months into his first managerial job, Henry was fired as coach of Monaco on Friday following a terrible run of form.The former Arsenal, Barcelona and France star arrived amid much fanfare and hype. He had no previous managerial experience and being thrust into a relegation battle may have proved too much for him.“It’s with great sadness that I’m parting ways with Monaco,” Henry said in a statement. “Despite the difficulties we encountered during this adventure, I took an enormous amount of pleasure in taking charge of this marvelous club.”Henry was replaced by Leonardo Jardim, the coach Monaco fired to make way for Henry last October. Jardim’s first game back is a crucial relegation scrap away to fellow struggler Dijon on Saturday.“I sincerely hope my successor manages to get the club out of this situation,” Henry said. “I wish everyone all the best for the future, starting with Dijon https://www.thetopsoccer.com/usa/timothy-weah-jersey , and why not a victory in the League Cup so that we get back into Europe again?”.Monaco meets Guingamp in the semifinals of that competition on Tuesday.PRESSURE TOLDLast Saturday, the pressure showed when Henry aimed an expletive at a Strasbourg player during a 5-1 home defeat.Henry’s tenure started and ended with defeats.He lost 10 and won four of his 20 games in charge, the defense conceding 36 goals. One of the wins was a1-0 triumph in the French Cup against an amateur team that plays several divisions below.Monaco is second from bottom in the league, deeply frustrating for a club which has won the title eight times and reached the Champions League final in 2004.Under Henry, who started his playing career with Monaco, the club never won a home game. It prompted him to question whether there was a “Stade Louis II” syndrome.TENSE RELATIONSAs a player, Henry enjoyed a strong relationship with the British media but a brittle one with their French counterparts — despite his achievements with the national team.Facing the media as Monaco coach was a new experience and appeared to be uncomfortable, with Henry often looking tense and sounding defensive.He would often use fighting talk ahead of games, spouting motivational expressions like “going to war” and being “on a mission” while he demonstratively banged his hand on a table, or raised a finger in a show of authority.The words and actions did not look convincing, coming from someone whose stellar playing career was in the higher echelons of world soccer. He won the World Cup and the European Championship with France, two league titles each with Arsenal and Barcelona, and the Champions League with Barcelona in 2009. He is France’s and Arsenal’s all-time record scorer.But he is not someone used to a relegation scrap, and he was found badly wanting.DEFEATS AND COMPLAINTSAlthough he inherited a squad low on confidence and riddled with injuries, some results were awful.While losing 4-0 at home to a rampant, free-scoring Paris Saint-Germain was perhaps expected, a 4-0 reverse at home to Belgian side Club Brugge was not and neither was last Saturday’s rout by Strasbourg.Henry, at first Michael Bradley Jersey , kept quiet about video reviews during games, but after that defeat he snapped and became overtly critical of VAR because it broke down when he thought Monaco should have had a penalty.His lambasting of VAR was somewhat ironic since it was Henry’s handling offense, followed by a cross for a goal, which helped France qualify for the 2010 World Cup in a dramatic playoff with Ireland. There was no VAR around at the time, otherwise the goal would not have stood and France may never have gone to South Africa.Henry was vilified by fans, former teammates and politicians. The criticism affected Henry deeply, and worsened his already mediocre relations with the French media.FRUSTRATION BOILED OVERFrustration got the better of him as he started to turn on his Monaco players. He openly questioned them, saying in a news conference this week: “I don’t think the lads realize what is happening. You can’t just say ‘We’ll get out of it.’ Things don’t work like that. You have to go and do it, stop talking.”He took things a step further by pledging to figure out which players “really has the fiber of the club” and weed the others out to form a smaller, tight-knit squad. He was true to his word and dropped players, but reportedly did so without informing the club’s hierarchy.JARDIM’S RETURNWaiting in the wings was Jardim, who was fired in early October after a run of 10 games without a win left the club third from bottom. He gave a timely interview to sports daily L’Equipe on Tuesday, saying he was sure he would return to Monaco one day.But fans must be wondering who is running the club and how, because the compensation payment for Jardim was reportedly 8 million euros ($9.13 million), and so it will be for Henry seeing as he joined on a three-year deal with his yearly salary estimated at more than 5 million euros ($5.7 million).Jardim led Monaco to the French league title in 2017 and the Champions League semifinals in the same year.Now the merry-go-round sees him back in charge of a relegation fight, while Henry will need to think about the next step in his career.
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