England U21 call up for New York City midfielder Jack Harrison
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 01/10/17 9:02pm
New York City midfielder Jack Harrison has been called up by England U21s for the first time ahead of the Euro 2019 qualifiers against Scotland and Andorra.
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The 20-year-old has been drafted in by Young Lions head coach Aidy Boothroyd following the withdrawals through injury of Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Sheyi Ojo.
Harrison came through the youth system at Manchester United before moving to the USA aged 14 and made his debut for New York City in May 2016.
He scored his first professional goal on his first start against Real Salt Lake in June 2016 and was nominated for the Major League Soccer Rookie of the Year award.
Harrison has been a regular for Patrick Vieira's side in the MLS this season, scoring 10 goals in 32 matches.
England U21s are joint-top of Group 4 with Ukraine after a 1-1 draw in the Netherlands and a 3-0 win over Latvia in their opening games of the qualifying competition.
They face Scotland at Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium on Friday before travelling to Andorra on October 10.
"I was thrilled when I found out. It's an exciting opportunity and one I'm very grateful for," said Harrison.
"I never thought this would happen when I moved out here when I was 14. It's a special moment and I'm going to cherish it.
"Every year this league is growing and you only have to watch the games to see that it's getting better and better. I'm so excited to be travelling over and doing the best I can. It's an honour to represent my country."
Vieira believes Harrison's call-up to the England set-up will help attract more players to the MLS.
"It's really good news for Jack, it's really good news for the football club and of course I'm really pleased for him because he's improved a lot and he loves the game," he said.
"I think it just shows how the league can be challenging for players and that it can be the right place for players to come to develop their talents.
"Jack going to play for England U21s will send a message to the players that the league is good enough to get to international level."