“The conditions made it a bit difficult, but I like playing in the rain personally,” Harrison said. “I think the team did brilliantly tonight.”
With NYCFC missing several starters to a combination of international call-ups, injuries and suspensions, including the league’s leading scorer in David Villa, and the club missing some golden chances through the first 80 minutes, Harrison stepped up in a big spot on Wednesday night to score the lone goal in a 1-0 victory over Sporting Kansas City and secure a massive three points on a rainy night in the Bronx.
The 84th-minute finish was the first goal for Harrison since June 29, and the young English winger admitted pressing a bit recently.
“I think these last few weeks I’ve been putting a bit too much pressure on myself trying to create goals and assists for myself,” Harrison said. “It got to me a bit so I kind of took this international break and reset myself, take a step back and look at the year. It took a lot of weight off my shoulders.”
That was the case when Harrison took a cross from RJ Allen off his chest and deftly finished inside the far post for his ninth goal of his sophomore season.
“I think a player like Jack who has played a ton of minutes, a young guy, it takes time to adjust to that workload,” Allen said. “I think that break was in particular for him very good and it showed tonight.”
It was a huge goal for NYCFC, who trail Toronto FC by six points in the Supporters' Shield and Eastern Conference races, but also a big moment personally for Harrison, who scored the goal with his father in attendance.
“That was his first time watching me play, actually, because he came out last year, but I picked up another injury before I was supposed to come back last year,” Harrison said. “He just missed out last year, so this was his first time. I’m glad he was there to witness it.”
Still, NYCFC coach Patrick Vieira expects more from Harrison, who he thought struggled in the attacking third.
“I don’t think that was his best game. I think he made a lot of mistakes in the last 30 yards, I think his decision making wasn’t the best today,” Vieira said. “But of course, when you’ve got talent, you can open the game at any time during the game.”