Fresh from lifting the CONCACAF U-20 Championships trophy with the U.S U-20s, Jonathan Lewis is already enjoying a 2017 to remember.
Since joining in the MLS SuperDraft, Lewis has made a big impression on the training field and he’s taking his rapid ascent from the college game in his stride.
The 19-year old made the matchday roster for the first time in the victory over DC United last weekend and relished this experience of being part of a winning squad.
While he waits to take his NYCFC bow, Lewis is happy to be taking every piece of advice from his more experienced teammates and enjoying his new surrounds.
He told NYCFC.com: “The experience was great – to sit on the bench and watch the game from another perspective and to hear the fans cheering the team on.
“It’s definitely different from watching on TV or even from the stands, to feel part of a winning squad – it’s surreal and something I’ve dreamed of. The mere fact that I was in the squad was great.
“We played lovely football. We shared the ball, passed it around and scored our chances. The team enjoyed the game, you could see that, and it was fun to watch from the side.
“It was great to be a part of.”
Lewis believes that Saturday’s game against Montreal will be a close one as he rates the Canadian outfit as one of the stronger teams in MLS.
He believes that making Yankee Stadium into a fortress that opposition teams fear will be crucial if NYCFC are to make another run to the Playoffs in 2017.
“I’m new to the professional game but I know from watching football that your home stadium is where you want to be playing in the postseason,” he said.
“Making your home field a fortress is what you have to do – creating an environment where other teams are scared to come and play there.
“They have Piatti and he’s very, very good but they’re a strong team top to bottom and they’ve always been a strong team. I know that they’re always considered a top level team, so it’s going to be a really interesting, fun game. It’s two good teams going up against each other.
“It would be great to make my debut but whatever happens, happens – I’m always supportive of the squad. Even just getting the opportunity to be part of it and just watching and supporting the team, it’s great – I just love it – whether I’m part of the team, or on the bench or in the stands, I’m just going to enjoy it.”
Lewis was a crucial member of the U.S squad which made history by beating Mexico on the road to CONCACAF glory.
Now Jonathan wants to play a part at the U-20 World Cup in South Korea where Tab Ramos’s men will take on Ecuador, Saudi Arabia and Senegal.
“That was great, being part of a team who created history and defeated Mexico for the first time in how many years? Then going on to win the tournament, we achieved something that’s never being done in U.S history – now we’ll be going on to try and create more history – we’re going to go and try to win the World Cup.”