Middlesbrough boost as Aidan Morris is left out of the USA's Olympic squad

Aidan Morris of the United States
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

Middlesbrough's season preparations have been boosted by the fact that Aidan Morris will not take part in the Olympic Games, with the USA 18-man squad named without him in it.

A new signing at Boro this summer, Morris had been in contention to be part of the squad for the Games in Paris this summer, but his omission instead allows him to fully focus on his settling-in period at his new club. Because the tournament doesn't fall in Fifa’s International Match Calendar, clubs are not obligated to release players, though Boro would have been unlikely to stand in his way had he been picked.

The midfielder was part of the USA Under-23s squad for a final training camp before the Olympics when news of the deal between Boro and Columbus Crew first broke and he subsequently left the camp to travel to Teesside. His deal to sign for Boro was confirmed earlier in the month with the 22-year-old currently in Portugal with his new team-mates as part of their own pre-season training camp.

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Had he taken part in the Olympics this summer, Morris could have missed almost all of Boro's pre-season campaign, with the Games taking place in Paris between July 24 and August 10. That is the day of Boro's first game of the season against Swansea City and, with a need to link up with the national team before the tournament, would have seen him fail to play in a single pre-season friendly either.

Having scouted Morris for around 18 months, Boro signed the midfielder this summer with real belief that he can make an immediate impact in the Championship. He might need an initial period to bed in and adapt to new team-mates, style of play and league, but the hope is that will be no more than any other signing given their belief in his suitability to handle the rigours of the English second-tier.

Having sealed the transfer with six weeks still to go until the start of the new season, Morris will have plenty of time to get to know his new team-mates and the tactical intricacies of his new role in Michael Carrick's side thanks to not being involved in the Olympic Games.