Confirmation of the talent and potential of Aidan Morris continues to roll in. First it was a call up to the U.S. Men’s U-23 Youth National Team. Now, it is being included in MLS’s 22 Under 22 for this season. The 21-year-old homegrown Crew midfielder is number three on the list behind Dallas FC’s Alan Velasco and Benjamin Cremaschi of Inter Miami.
Morris has put together a season worthy of being rated this high among young MLS players. The argument can be made that he and Darlington Nagbe form, if not the best, certainly one of the best center midfield duos in the league. His numbers show he’s getting it done on both offense and defense this season. Four goals and seven assists to go along with completing over 92 percent of his passes. He has an assist in each of his last two games, including a beautiful set-up of Cucho for a goal against Atlanta Saturday night. He leads the team with 58 tackles and 43 interceptions.
Always room for improvement
If there is an area where head coach Wilfried Nancy wants to see improvement in Morris, it is in creativity. He’s very much a by-the-book player, but Nancy wants to see him add more imagination to his game. That’s not something I expect to see this year. It isn’t always easy for a player to step out of their comfort zone. Look for Morris to come back in 2024 having expanded his game.
Who could be next?
When you look at the roster for Crew 2, Cole Mrowka jumps out at you. It is hard to ignore the 17-year-old midfielder’s nine goals and five assists in 24 MLS NEXT Pro appearances. By the way, that’s nine goals on just ten shots on target. Want another name from Crew 2? How about 18-year-old forward Mateo Bunbury and his eight goals. Crew 2 is the defending MLS NEXT Pro champions and will be in action Saturday at 5 PM in the Eastern Conference finals against New England Revolution II.
If you’re wondering why Patrick Schulte did not make the 22 Under 22 list, it is because he’s too old. The Crew goalkeeper is already 22.