The NYCFC are hoping that Jack Harrison has a sensational sophomore season to show.
NYCFC players, to a man, would admit that their 2016 season changed for the better when Jack Harrison arrived with his youthful hunger and skill-set he honed from his time with the Manchester United and Liverpool youth teams.
He played in 21 games for the city club, 17 of them starts. He scored four goals but it was his seven assists that won him friends among the veteran stars and in the case of Frank Lampard, a mentor as Harrison pointed out in The Vice video “This British 19-year old is the future of MLS.”
“A great leader for me. As soon as I got here his advice, just having conversations with him just gave me that confidence.” Jack pointed out.
Now that Lampard has moved on, NYCFC will be looking for more from its winger. Jack will have to transform from excellent complimentary player to a team leader. He is an independent sort that matured early on as his story implies and that should serve him well.
Harrison has not performed on a poor level for a kid who went the reverse route in his soccer career, leaving more advanced schools in Europe to attend high school here on scholarship which started the dynamo effect to his arrival here.
Like the town he is from, Stoke-on-Trent, which serves as a unifying authority in Staffordshire, Jack has had just such an effect on this team and looking at the highlight package below you will see the genuine respect the veteran superstars have for him.
However, MLS teams will be ready for him this time around and will focus their game-plans on neutralizing him as an effective force while putting the pressure on the two veteran stars David Villa and Andrea Pirlo to carry the load. This will be the measuring stick for Jack Harrison to see if he is ready to take it for the team when needed and hitting the back of the net more often regardless of the obstacles. Jack knows he is not the complete package yet as he explained in the BBC video “From Manchester United to New York City FC: Meet Jack Harrison.”
“I think I have some way to go. I have been fairly happy with how the start of my first professional career but I know I still have a lot of work to do. I’m willing to work on that with Patrick and the rest of the coaching staff to improve my game as much as I can,” Harrison revealed.
So, can Harrison provide a more appealing sequel to his blockbuster first season here? All indications that the hunger and work ethic are there as is the talent. He still has two World Cup champions to learn from so next season should provide quite a second act.