Teammates when they step on the field for international duty with the U.S. Men’s National Team, but foes when they suit up in MLS, two of the most notable MLS Homegrown stars Gyasi Zardes and Jordan Morris are set to clash on Sunday when reigning 2016 MLS Cup champion Seattle Sounders FC heads south to take on five-time MLS Cup winners LA Galaxy at the StubHub Center (1 p.m. PT, ESPN/ESPN Deportes).
A lot has happened since the two forwards last stepped on the same field together: an MLS meeting between the Galaxy and Sounders FC in Seattle on July 9, 2016. After Zardes suffered a broken foot last August, the 2014 MLS Cup champion had to sit on the sidelines for the rest of 2016 campaign as Morris went on to break the scoring record for an American-born rookie with 11 regular season goals and claim an MLS Cup championship of his own, while also featuring in World Cup Qualifiers for the USMNT.
But Zardes is back, featuring in the last three matches for LA after making his 2017 debut on April 1, and is looking to regain the form that saw him set a Homegrown Player record for most goals scored in a single season in 2014 (16 goals), and tie for most international caps recorded for the U.S. in 2015 (19 appearances).
Both Homegrown standouts will be looking to help their respective teams climb in the Western Conference standings, and make a case for inclusion on the national team for the final round of World Cup Qualifying and this summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.