The festive period in the UK is majorly centered around the sports Calendar. Whether it is attending the darts at Ally Pally, or your favorite team in their boxing day fixture clash.
It is slightly different this year as no fans is in attendance, but, there are still some great stories regarding athletes who attended US Colleges and are now at the top of their chosen sport.
Today, we have a look at Jack Harrison. Most notably, the English winger currently secured promotion for Leeds United in their return to top-flight football after 16 years of doom and gloom for the sleeping giants.
Now, plying his trade against the very best in the Premier League, it has been a huge shift for the forward who took an unconventional path in attaining his dream of Premier League Football.
After academy spells with Liverpool Football Club and Manchester United, Harrison opted to attend a Co-ed boarding school, Berkshire School, in Sheffield Massachusetts on a Gatorade Scholarship (1 of 5 offered). After winning Gatorade National Player of the Year for Highschool soccer, Harrison attended Wake Forrest University in North Carolina for one season, making 22 appearance and scoring 8 goals.
Fast forward to the 2016 MLS Super draft, and Harrison entered as the youngest player available, and was selected number one pick by the Chicago Fire, and subsequently traded to New York City for their fourth pick.
Harrison made his professional debut for the side in May 2016, during a 7-0 loss to rivals the New York Red Bulls. However, the talented player throughout his career continued to receive praise from the likes of Andrea Pirlo and Frank Lampard.
Eventually, the partnership between New York City and Manchester City through the holding company, The City Football Group, led Harrison to a transfer back to England for his first Premiership Contract. Subsequent loan spells to Middlesbrough and Leeds, before officially making the move permanent to the Yorkshire giants.
At 24 years old, Harrison is living the dream. The moral of the story is that hard work and determination to pursue sport and be open for alternative paths can still inevitably get you to your end goal.
The US College system offers extensive opportunities for gifted young player’s, like Harrison, to continue to pursue a footballing dream whilst maintaining an education. It is not the traditional option through the academy system, but it gives you an experience like no other.
The ability to experience playing abroad, training in world class facilities, and most importantly, receiving an education which, if you decide football is no longer your dream, you have an opportunity to pursue your new dream whatever that may be.
At RightTrack we have assisted footballers through the process in gaining scholarships to elite Colleges in the US. We’ve worked with some top class male and female players that have come through academies such as Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Reading, and QPR. We have student-athletes at universities such as Harvard, LSU, UC Davis, and Columbia to name a handful!
So if you think you could be next, get in touch today and fill out our online questionnaire!