In a week full of additions, the Columbus Crew has made another one. The Black & Gold announced on Friday afternoon that the team signed Campbell University defender Jake Morris. This came following a trade of $50,000 in General Allocation Money with the Seattle Sounders to acquire Morris’ Homegrown rights.
Morris, 22 years old, played for Campbell during the COVID-altered 2020 and 2021 seasons. He made 28 appearances for the Camels, scoring seven goals and registering nine assists.
Prior to coming to Campbell, Morris played for Tyler Junior College. He made 45 total appearances for the Apache, scoring 12 goals and managing eight assists from 2018 to 2020.
“We would like to welcome Jake to the Crew,” Black & Gold president and general manager Tim Bezbatchenko said in the release announcing the signing. “Jake is a young player whose addition to our roster will help increase the depth of our backline. We look forward to incorporating him into our squad and working with him as he continues his professional development.”
If Morris’ name sounds familiar, it is because he is the older brother of Crew central midfielder Aidan Morris. Both players grew up in Florida, but were recruited to separate MLS Academies and developed into collegiate and now professional players. Aidan attended Indiana for the 2019 season before signing his deal with Columbus. He played a key role in helping the Black & Gold to a 3-0 win against the Sounders in 2020 MLS Cup Final before tearing his ACL at the start of last year and missing the entire campaign.
Before departing for Tyler Junior College, the younger Morris was a part of the Sounders Academy teams from 2016 to 2018. He appeared for the Tacoma Defiance, Seattle’s second team, four times.
Morris will now get the opportunity to work his way onto the Crew first-team roster, just as his brother did two seasons ago. The difference now is the creation of Crew 2, as part of the MLS Next Pro league, that could foster for more playing time for young players such as Morris and help with their development.
The signing of Morris follows the announcements on Friday that the Black & Gold signed goalkeeper Brady Scott, who was acquired in the Re-Entry Draft earlier this offseason, and MLS veteran free agent defender Jalil Anibaba.
Columbus Crew’s 2022 roster
Goalkeepers: Evan Bush, Eloy Room, Patrick Schulte, Brady Scott
Defenders: Jalil Anibaba, Jonathan Mensah, Steven Moreira, Jake Morris, Josh Williams
Midfielders: Artur, Sebastian Berhalter, Luis Diaz, Derrick Etienne Jr., Marlon Hairston, Perry Kitchen, Alex Matan, Kevin Molino, Aidan Morris, Darlington Nagbe, Isaiah Parente, Pedro Santos, Yaw Yeboah, Sean Zawadzki, Lucas Zelarayan
Forwards: Miguel Berry, Gyasi Zardes