Aidan Morris departure could open door for young Crew talent to shine

Where will the Crew find their replacement after fan-favorite, Morris moves on to greener pastures? Fortunately for the Crew there talent hidden on this roster that Wilfried may look to tap into.
Morocco U19 v USA U19: Friendly
Morocco U19 v USA U19: Friendly / Aitor Alcalde/USSF/GettyImages

Aidan Morris, the talented midfielder who emerged from the Columbus Crew’s academy and played a crucial role in their MLS Cup victories, is set to make a move across the Atlantic. The club confirmed that the Crew have agreed to a deal that will send Morris to Middlesbrough currently competing in England's second-tier league, the EFL Championship.

The Sale

Morris, a fan favorite, signed with the Black & Gold in 2020 and quickly made an impact. At just 19 years old, he stepped up to start the 2020 MLS Cup Final in place of the absent Darlington Nagbe, becoming the youngest player ever to start an MLS Cup final. His performance helped secure a 3-0 victory over the Seattle Sounders, and he continued to shine in subsequent seasons.

In 2022, Morris was named to his first MLS All-Star team and played a pivotal role in Columbus’s second MLS Cup win in four seasons. Unfortunately, a season-ending injury in early 2021 disrupted his progress, but he returned as a regular starter alongside Nagbe in the Crew’s midfield.

The Potential Replacement

With Morris’s departure, the Crew will need to find a suitable replacement. Wilfried Nancy, the head coach who led the Black & Gold to their 2023 MLS Cup victory, is known for nurturing young talent. He gave young players like Matan, Jacen Russell-Rowe, Max Arfsten, and Mo Farsi a chance to prove their worth while providing them an opportunity to make mistakes and grow. As a result, it’s possible that Morris' replacement will come from within the club’s ranks.

The Young Prospects

Taha Habroune: A product of the Crew Academy, Habroune recently signed a first team professional contract with Crew. His development has been impressive and he has been touted as one of the most exciting prospects in the Crew’s development program. As a U.S. Youth International, Habroune has the skills to step up and partially fill the void Morris left if given the chance.

Cole Mrowka: While less known, Mrowka is another exciting prospect. His performances in the academy have caught the attention of the coaching staff. If given the chance, he could prove himself as a worthy successor to Morris.

Time Will Tell

As Morris embarks on his new adventure in England, the Crew may not need to look very far fill the void. Whether it’s Habroune, Mroka, or another rising star yet to be signed, the next chapter in the Crew’s midfield promises excitement and potential.