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Sheffield, Mass. (January 16, 2016) – Former Berkshire School (Sheffield, Mass.) boys soccer captain Jack Harrison ’15 said he was ‘humbled’ after being chosen as the first overall pick of the 2016 MLS SuperDraft.
Harrison, who led Berkshire to three straight NEPSAC Class A championships and was named Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year as a senior, was selected by the Chicago Fire as the draft’s top pick on Jan. 14 before being traded to New York City FC.
“It’s been my dream since being a little boy,” Harrison said about playing professionally. “I would have never thought it would be in the U.S., but I’m so thankful that it is because I’ve made so many connections and met so many great people.”
The Bolton, England native announced earlier this month that he was leaving Wake Forest University to pursue his professional career after signing on with Generation adidas. Harrison said the contract with Generation adidas will allow him to pursue his academics while he plays soccer.
“I’m going to be taking some online courses to complete my degree. That was a key part of the contract for both me and my mom,” he said.
At Wake Forest, Harrison scored 8 goals and tallied 11 assists in his first season and was named ACC Offensive Player and Freshman of the Year.
He finished his career at Berkshire with 44 goals and 65 assists and led the team to three straight prep school championships. He also captured the Massachusetts Gatorade Boys Soccer Player of the Year two years in a row (2014 and 2015).
"This is an incredible moment for Jack and his family, and I know I speak for the entire Berkshire community when I say we are all so proud of him,” said Berkshire soccer coach Jon Moodey.
“He's earned this day by following his dream, believing in himself and working hard to improve each day. What makes this so special is that it couldn't have happened to a better person than Jack. He has always put the team and school community ahead of himself, and despite his countless achievements on and off the field, he has remained the same kind and humble kid that he was when he arrived at Berkshire,” Moodey added.
Harrison said he will always feel a connection to Berkshire and added that has been busy fielding calls from former teammates, friends and acquaintances from the school, as well as many of the players he once faced on the pitch since being selected as the top pick.
"We've been fortunate to see Jack develop into not only a great soccer player but as a leader, outstanding teammate and gentleman,” said Berkshire athletic director Dan Driscoll. “New York could not have chosen a better person to make an immediate impact on every aspect of their organization. We look forward to following his future success.”
Playing for NYCFC will be a homecoming of sorts for Harrison, as he previously played for the Manhattan Soccer Club while at Berkshire. Spring training for Harrison’s new team will begin on January 22 in Florida.
“It’s going to be a quick transition, but it’s exciting,” said Harrison, adding that he was looking forward to playing for coach Patrick Vieira and NYC FC director of football operations, Claudio Reyna.
Interestingly, Harrison’s pro debut is scheduled for March 6, when NYC FC travels to Chicago to take on the Fire. His first home match at Yankee Stadium is scheduled for March 13.