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David Norman Jr. arrives to steady Pacific FC midfield

David Norman Jr. was born after his dad David Norman Sr. starred for the Vancouver Whitecaps and 86ers, and played in the 1986 World Cup, as part of his 51 caps for Canada. But those genes sure were inherited.
David Norman Jr., right, was dealt by the Whitecaps this week to MLS expansion team Inter Miami, who lent him to Victoria‘Äôs CPL team.

David Norman Jr. was born after his dad David Norman Sr. starred for the Vancouver Whitecaps and 86ers, and played in the 1986 World Cup, as part of his 51 caps for Canada.

But those genes sure were inherited.

“My dad was finished his career before I was born, but I heard a lot about it,” said Norman Jr.

Norman Jr., who will play on loan with Pacific FC for the rest of the Canadian Premier League season, was the fourth player signed by Major League Soccer expansion club Inter Miami for next season.

“It’s exciting to be coming in during the first year of a club,” said Norman, whose was dealt to Inter Miami by the Whitecaps this week for a conditional pick in the 2022 MLS draft.

Miami, co-owned by David Beckham, likes what it’s getting.

“David [Norman Jr.] is a young, creative player who has had an impressive career at the youth levels with Vancouver and the Canadian national team,” said Inter Miami sports director Paul McDonough, in a statement.

Until joining Inter Miami next season, the 21-year-old will ply his trade at Westhills Stadium with PFC, beginning tonight at 7 in the CPL fixture against Forge FC of Hamilton, Ont.

It’s been like old home week for Norman, who came up with many of the Pacific FC players in the Whitecaps Academy/Residency system.

“I’ve felt comfortable from the first day here in Victoria because I know most of the guys,” said Norman.

The Coquitlam native said he is fully recovered from surgery after a fractured foot, incurred during a U-23 Whitecaps game against Bournemouth U-23, in April in England.

“This will be my first competitive outing since then but I feel great,” said Norman, who played 12 games with the first team on loan to Scottish club Queen of the South in 2018.

Playing midfield in soccer is sort of like being the transmission of a car.

“I’m a box-to-box midfielder, who is solid defensively, but who can also get our attacking players on the ball,” he said.

That’s why he was targeted from the beginning of the season by Pacific FC as a loan player from the Whitecaps before the injury scuttled those plans in April. PFC finally got their man, but on loan from Inter Miami instead of the ’Caps.

“David is a player we tried to sign from Day 1, so we are extremely lucky to have finally landed him,” said Pacific FC GM and CEO Rob Friend.

“He’s coming off a strong season in Scotland last year.”

And into the long-awaiting arms of PFC, which is 3-1-2 in its last six games, after a 0-3 start to the fall season (3-4-2).

“I’m excited about this,” said Norman.

Meanwhile, Forge FC (5-1-1 in league in the fall season) will see something at Westhills Stadium tonight that it didn’t in its last game — fans. The Hamilton club played in an empty stadium last week in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, in a 4-1 loss to C.D. Olimpia in the CONCACAF Club League Sweet 16. (If that venue sounds familiar, it was the site of Canada’s infamous 8-1 CONCACAF World Cup qualifying loss to Honduras in 2012).

Fans were not allowed in because of a riot prior to C.D. Olimpia’s previous Honduran league game, in which in which four people died, after fans pelted the visiting team’s bus with rocks and other debris missives. The game, at Olympia’s usual home stadium in Tegucigalpa, was cancelled.

Pacific FC fans, especially in the supporters’ end zone, are avid, but nothing violently untoward like you see in Latin America.

About the worst that will happen tonight at Westhills might be an inebriated fan told to tone down some language.

Forge FC, along with Cavalry FC of Calgary, has been the class of the CPL in the inaugural season and showed it by winning its first round set in the CONCACAF club league against Antigua GFC of Guatemala before going down to Olimpia in the empty Honduran stadium.

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