Dual-nationality Aidan Morris to decide his international future | OneFootball

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·23 May 2023

Dual-nationality Aidan Morris to decide his international future

Article image:Dual-nationality Aidan Morris to decide his international future

The Fort Lauderdale-born, 21-year-old Morris, who has Canadian citizenship through his father, has been named to both the USMNT and Canadian 60-player prelim rosters ahead of the 2023 Concacaf Nations League.

Tough spot for the youngster who is not cap-tied to the U.S. given his two appearances with the squad were for friendlies against Serbia and Mexico, as he must decide his fate.

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"It's tough. I've got family from the U.S., I've got family from Canada," he said in an interview with ESPN. "But then there's also the sense of playing and going to a World Cup. There's a lot on my mind right now. I don't think I have an answer in terms of what I'm going to do, or what I'm thinking of. So my only answer is I have time and this is a big decision for me and I don't need to be rushed because this is a big decision for my career."

Which he followed up with some consideration towards his future beyond this summer's tournament.

"I think if the thought comes to me, then I think I'd love for it to come to me before summer, so I can take part in as much as I can," he said. "But yeah, if it doesn't, then I'm fine with that as well. It's a three-and-a-half-year process to the World Cup."

If they manage to sway him into the Stars and Stripes, the USMNT would boast another success retaining dual-national talent amongst its ranks, with the recent announcements of Folarin Balogun and Alejandro Zendejas, the latter another successful recruit out of Mexico's clutches.

Other recent attempts with Canadian nationals saw Ayo Akinola and Jonathan David opting for the Maple Leafs.

Morris did indicate that Canada reached out months ago and spoke to the great value he could bring to the team with an "important role," something that spoke to the youngster given Canada's classification to Qatar 2022.

No matter what nation Morris opts for, the competition in his position will be tough with a squad counting on Weston McKennie, Yunus Musah, Kellyn Acosta and Tyler Adams, among others in the USMNT, and Atiba Hutchinson, Jonathan Osorio, Samuel Piette, and Mark-Anthony Kaye still in the mix for the Canucks.

Morris though, has kept in touch with both squads, and USMNT interim head coach Anthony Hudson has his eye on him.

"He values me, the same as Canada," he said about Hudson. "They value me and they see that I play an important role for them. And the U.S. would definitely be more of a long-term journey in terms of working my way up, a longer process in terms of working into that roster that went to the World Cup. But I'm all for it, and I'm all for working for something and that makes it just as fun to achieve it."

The USMNT could make a bigger case for itself with the looming 2024 Olympic Games in Paris and its U-23 tournament, an opportunity the U.S. had not qualified to since 2008. Morris could have a big impact on the squad that will count with three over age players in the roster.

"It's an important competition, and whether it's the Olympic team or whether it's a national team playing a friendly against Mexico, it all means the same to me," he said. "It's an honor and it always comes with a big weight to it in terms of representing not just a club in a city and a town but representing a whole country. So, it's definitely been on my mind, and it has come up multiple times and I'd love to take part in it."

Morris is shaping up to the one of the best midfielders in the league this season and has a tally of one assist and three goals so far. Concacaf Nations League final rosters are expected in early June, so the coming days will be a pivotal time of self-reflection for the youngster, that is (and more fantastically so), unless Italy comes a-calling – Morris also has Italian citizenship.

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