Jack Harrison is a bright, young talent plying his trade in Major League Soccer across the pond, currently at New York City in the Eastern Conference – gallantly battling it out for the title with city rivals Red Bulls, both sitting on a sly 51 points. Who exactly is this Jack Harrison though?
The winger was actually born in Stoke-on-Trent but had been raised in Bolton, 55 miles up north. Harrison spent seven years at the Manchester United academy where he was tipped for a spectacularly bright future in the game but was forced to move to the States with his parents at the age of fourteen in 2010. Jack went to Berkshire school in Massachusetts and within his first two years there, he won the 2015 National Boys’ Soccer Player of the Year. Whilst playing for Berkshire, Jack Harrison scored 24 goals and provided 33 assists in three seasons and perhaps found a glimmer of hope again after being dragged away from the Manchester United academy.
In that same year he won the Atlantic Coast Conference Offensive Player award and numerous other awards. After leaving Berkshire boarding school, Harrison went to Wake Forest University, a football-specified team. Following his affiliation with a Manhattan educational system, New York City Football Club tried to claim Jack Harrison was a home-grown talent but this was rejected by Major League Soccer.
Shortly after being chosen for the 2016 MLS SuperDraft, an annual event which clubs choose talents from their youth academies to be promoted to the first-team, Harrison suffered a fractured pelvic bone which brought a devastating set-back for the Englishman.
His debut came in May earlier this year, coming on as a substitute in the 7-0 defeat to noisy neighbours New York Red Bulls. Jack’s first professional goal came in his first start against Real Salt Lake in June – become the first teenager to score for City since their formation in 2013. So far this season, which began in May, the Stoke-born attacker has made 19 appearances for Patrick Vieira’s side and three goals.
I’m sure an England call-up for Jack Harrison is only a year or two away, but he is eligible to play for the United States and has admitted he wouldn’t turn down the opportunity if the Three Lions didn’t come calling soon enough.
Team-mate David Villa has even tipped Harrison for a very impressive career, going on record by saying; “Few players give you that feeling and he has it. He has it at 19 years old, with not much time as a professional.” – When you’re getting praise from, whom many consider a legend, then surely there’s a bright future for this lad?
By Ryan White