Jack Harrison, the top overall pick in this year’s MLS SuperDraft, made his debut for New York City FC last Saturday, one of the few bright spots in a lopsided 7-0 loss to the Red Bulls.
The 19-year-old midfielder, who came up through Manchester United’s system, spoke with amNewYork about NYCFC and the city itself ahead of the club’s match against Orlando City SC on Sunday at Yankee Stadium.
What did you think of New York City when you first visited?
I think I was 15 when I first visited. I remember it being very hectic. Everyone was in a rush to go everywhere. I remember just being in awe of all the tall buildings and how fast everything was.
How do you like riding the subway?
It’s not my favorite, but I know it’s the best/quickest way of transportation and the cheapest. I used to ride the subway a lot with some of my friends that lived in the city. Now when I’m here, I prefer to cab around and take in the sights.
What do you love and hate most about the city?
I love the diversity. All of the different cultures — it’s really nice to experience that all in one place.
Favorite restaurant in the city?
What is your favorite off-the-pitch memory of the city?
The first time I walked into Grand Central and then we went straight to Times Square — that first time seeing those two classic New York sights that you hear about — I’ll never forget that buzz.
Favorite New York team other than New York City FC?
Our Stadium mates, the New York Yankees.
What makes New York soccer fans unique?
I think we have the most passionate fans in the league, and it will only continue to grow.
Do you have any gameday rituals?
No big things. Little things, like I’ll pad my right shin before my left. I put wrist tape on my right hand — I saw a lot of seniors doing it at Berkshire when I was a freshman, and I’ve kind of just done it ever since.
Who was your childhood soccer hero?
Ronaldinho. [Zinedine] Zidane. [David] Beckham. Those are my top three.
Do you have a hidden talent?
When I was at Berkshire, I used to play squash, and do mountain biking.