NYCFC’s Harrison Deals With Growing Pains

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by CHRISTIAN ARAOS

Jack Harrison had a preseason. After missing the first third of his rookie season because of a hip issue, Harrison was able to start the Major League Soccer season at right wing for New York City FC. Though he was fit enough to play, the hip issue continues to linger.

“I was going through my injury for part of the last month or two that I was still trying to figure out,” Harrison said. “In the off-season, I was doing a couple of things here and there just a bunch of rehab.”

NYCFC knew about Harrison’s hip injury when they traded for him at the 2015 draft. Once Harrison was fit enough to appear regularly, he became a fixture in the team’s first team, starting all but three of City’s final 20 regular-season games and both playoff games. Harrison was still able to participate in preseason training, which he said has made him feel more comfortable coming into this season.

“I’ve had a much better feeling coming into this season,” Harrison said. “I feel like I know my teammates. I’m just working hard on that and the first two months have been great.”

Harrison, 20, said he has come to understand how to manage his hip problems. He said it will stick with him while he continues to grow. He said he has to continue strengthening the area while it develops. He said he is trying to fine tune his playing style to a still changing body.

“It’s tough,” he said.” I think the majority of the time it doesn’t make much of a difference. I think, at times, when I want to work on shooting or crossing or anything extra I have to be careful and not overdo it and then be out for the season. I think that’s been my big thing this preseason: how can I manage my load and still be healthy.”