2016 MLS SuperDraft No. 1 pick Jack Harrison's mother, after an education, sent him to US soccer success

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.

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.

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."


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