Jonathan Lewis Is Already Going Places With NYCFC

He was a late bloomer who had no idea he would ever play soccer at the professional level. He played his college ball at the University of Akron, in the state of Ohio, where a different kind of football is revered. But Jonathan Lewis hit the double this week as he was selected third in the 2017 MLS Superdraft by NYCFC and was called to the U-20 U.S.National Team.

Lewis, who started playing soccer in the fifth grade and didn’t enter an academy team until the age of 17, was the most surprised player by the draft result though he sensed something was up.

“Going third is big-I’m just happy, very happy. I never would’ve expected it,” he said.

For the first time in MLS history a general allocation money figure was revealed. In this case $250,000 was the amount that landed this attacker with the fleet feet whose strangely was in the Chicago Fire academy in 2014. The NYCFC made a sudden move for Lewis.

“They interviewed me yesterday, last minute,” Lewis recalled, “so I kind of had a fishy feeling about something-it was so last minute.”

Jonathan could not have foreseen that he will play for a team who is a sister team of Manchester City, who he watches on television and contains his “idol” Jack Harrison in the media capital of the world. But he does see how he fits in their lineup.

“I think I can be a right-footed Jack Harrison, hopefully.”

But whether he is on the wings or up front, he is sure go learn from Harrison, Andrea Pirlo, and MLS MVP David Villa. He should also benefit from playing for the U-20 team where head coach Tab Ramos wil be looking to utilize his skills in the upcoming 2017 CONCACAF U-20 championship opener February 18 against Panama.

In the interim he will be busy at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center this week and again in Orlando between Jan 31st-Feb 10th before heading outto Costa Rica.

But come March, Lewis will be running up and down the hallowed grass of Yankee Stadium.  He is emboldened by the circumstances in which he was acquired.

“It’s an honor, I get to go to a big club with very good players,” Lewis explained, “Trading up for me shows they have belief in me so I can’t wait to get started and show them what I can do.”

For Jonathan Lewis it’s a case of being better late than never.


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