Jack Harrison is opening eyes in his native England with his play for NYCFC in MLS.

By 90Min
October 09, 2017

New York City youngster Jack Harrison has hit the headlines recently as his performances across the pond have caught the attention of Aidy Boothroyd, who gave the winger his first England U21 cap in one of the Euro 2019 qualifier against Scotland. 

Harrison, who has made 57 appearances for NYCFC since joining in 2016, had put in a number of impressive performances up top. His 10 goals during the current campaign have also attracted the attention of both Premier League giants Manchester United and Manchester City, highlighting the progress he has made since moving to America four years ago. 

But who is Harrison? Here are five things you should know about the Young Lions latest star...

1. NYCFC Signed Him Despite a Recurring Pelvic Injury

After being drafted into the side in 2016 as the number one MLS pick, Harrison suffered the worst possible start to his NYCFC career. The 20-year-old is believed to have failed his pre-draft medical as he suffered another pelvic injury, an injury he had consistent problems with throughout his college football days.

Harrison was believed to have been out for a number of months - possibly the entire season - however he recovered in time to make a solid impact for his side.

2. He Paid £1,200 For His Own Flight to Join the U21s

Harrison was a surprise inclusion in the U21 side, but his dream debut nearly hit serious turbulence early on. The forward was stuck in Manhattan traffic on his way to the airport and subsequently missed his flight to Heathrow. 

The 20-year-old was determined to not squander his international chance, and booked the next flight to London for £1,200. 

Harrison said: “I thought the best thing was just to get over there so I decided to book the first flight out on Monday morning. It’s cost me £1,200 but it’s an honour to be called up by England."

3. He Played Alongside Marcus Rashford at Man United's Academy 
In 2003, Harrison joined Man United's academy with the hopes of making it to the Premier League. He played alongside some familiar names - most notably Marcus Rashford - but a high level of competition meant he was uncertain of a future at Old Trafford. 
With the advice of his Mum, Harrison moved to America to progress his career at the age of 14, and he hasn't looked back. He has previously recalled being apprehensive about moving across the pond, but claims he has no regrets about moving to the States.

Gareth Copley/GettyImages

4. He Suffered a 7-0 Debut Defeat to New York Red Bulls 

After overcoming his pelvic injury, Harrison was used as a substitute in New York City's humiliating home loss to New York Red Bulls last year. Goals from Alex Muyl, Gonzalo Veron, Gideon Baah and braces from Bradley Wright-Phillips and Dax McCarty sealed the victory, extending their unbeaten run in the Hudson River Derby to four games. 

However, he became New York City's first teenage scorer during his first start, bagging against Real Salt Lake.

5. Man City Have First Refusal on Him 
Manchester United have shown a strong interest in bringing their former academy man back to Old Trafford, however their rivals Man City will have first refusal on Harrison should they wish to sign him. New York City are affiliated with City through the City Football Group, meaning he would be offered a straight passage through to the Etihad. 
Harrison has the potential to flourish under a manager like Pep Guardiola, but whether he sees the competition at City too fierce is yet to determined. Don't be too shocked if he turns out for a Premier League side in the near future though. 

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