You might know Jack Harrison was both the No. 1 overall pick by the Chicago Fire and a trade target of NYCFC. You might also know he said America has proved "nothing but" the land of opportunity he expected.
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But did you know how he came to leave the Manchester United academy to travel stateside for high school?
In a feature for the UK Telegraph, scribe Bob Williams breaks down the story of how his mother, Deborah, and physical education teacher Dan McElroy – with an eye on education – collaborated to create and capitalize on an opportunity for Harrison to attend the Berkshire School, a boarding and college prep institution in Sheffield, Massachusetts on a soccer scholarship.
The move eventually positioned Harrison for his college step at Wake Forest, where he posted 8 goals and 11 assists as a freshman, earning NSCAA First Team All-America, ACC Offensive Player of the Year and ACC Freshman of the Year honors. The attacking prowess earned an attempt from NYC to claim him as Homegrown – he played for now-NYCFC affiliate Manhattan Soccer Club during high school – and eventually their draft-day acquisition.
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Here's McElroy, to the Telegraph, on the cross-Atlantic journey:
"No one has the bravery to make that leap. It's very difficult to step away from Manchester United, but to step away from his mum … I cannot stress the relationship that they have. It was such a selfless thing to do for a parent, to sacrifice her time with him to give him the best platform possible. And what a way to reward it."