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New York City FC's Jack Harrison handed maiden England U21 call-up

New York City FC midfielder Jack Harrison has been called up by England under-21s for the first time for the Euro 2019 qualifiers against Scotland and Andorra.

Harrison has been drafted in following the withdrawals through injury of Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Sheyi Ojo.

Harrison, 20, began his career as a youth player at Manchester United but moved to the United States aged 14 and made his debut for New York City in May last year.

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.

"I was thrilled when I found out; I was really speechless when [NYCFC coach] Patrick [Vieira] told me just before the game tonight [Saturday's 1-1 draw with Chicago Fire]," Harrison told his club's official website. "It's an exciting opportunity and one I'm very grateful for. 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 every year. I'm so excited to be traveling over and doing the best I can. It's an honor to represent my country."

Vieira added: "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. 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 the international level. I just want him to enjoy it -- it will be a great, positive experience to be surrounded by players who play in the Premier League and I just want him to show how good he is because if the manager called him, it means he deserves it."

The Young Lions are joint top of their qualifying group with Ukraine after a 1-1 draw against Netherlands and a 3-0 win over Latvia in their opening games.

They face Scotland in Middlesbrough on Friday before travelling to Andorra for a game on Oct. 10.

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