VICTORIA, British Columbia — Inter Miami’s latest signing, David Norman Jr., made his debut Wednesday in the Canadian Premier League in Pacific FC’s 1-1 draw against Hamilton-based Forge FC. The 21-year-old had 49 touches and completed 78.4% of his 37 passes in what was a solid debut in the Canadian Premier League.
“Norman came in looking good,” Pacific FC head coach Michael Silberbauer said after the game. “He covered a lot of ground, and I thought he had a really good game.”
“It was nice to slot right into the lineup,” Norman Jr. said after the game. “It’s definitely a very good caliber of play. I’ve been following [the Canadian Premier League] quite closely throughout the year, but it is different following it on the online and see it on TV then coming here and play.”
The game Wednesday concluded a whirlwind 48 hours for the 21-year-old midfielder. The Whitecaps traded the midfielder Tuesday to Inter Miami CF in exchange for a conditional 2022 MLS SuperDraft pick. Although the trade to Miami will not go into effect until January 2020, Norman left the club immediately and joined Canadian Premier League side Pacific FC on loan for the remainder of the 2019 season.
Pacific FC tried to loan Norman Jr. from the Whitecaps last April, but an injury torpedoed the deal in the spring. But after the trade to Inter Miami, the door opened for Pacific FC to sign Norman for the rest of the season.
“David is a player we tried to sign day one, so we are extremely lucky to have finally landed him,” Pacific FC CEO Rob Friend said in a statement published on the club’s homepage. “He’s coming off a strong season in Scotland last year, and extremely motivated to be part of our club for the remainder of the season. We are looking forward to seeing David in purple.”
“I have been in talks with the coaches here and [owners Rob Friend and Josh Simpson] but had an injury,” Norman said. “After I got healthy there, I thought I could come in and help the team. I think I just add another option for them.”
Meanwhile, in Vancouver, the trade of Norman Jr. for a conditional MLS SuperDraft pick to Inter Miami has been seen critical by some members of Vancouver’s fanbase. The 21-year-old is not only a product of the club’s academy system but also the son of former Whitecaps and Canada national team star David Norman Sr., who played 51 times for his country and was a member of the 1986 World Cup squad.
Absolutely shocking, but no less than I expected from this club. Was happy that they loaned him to the CPL to at least play some games, but expected him to come back next year and fight for a spot, not get shipped off for basically nothing.
— Cory Muzyka (@CoryMuzyka) September 3, 2019
For Norman Jr., however, the trade presents an exciting opportunity. “It all happened really quickly,” Norman Jr. said. “It all kind of happened really quickly. It is an exciting time for sure, but my focus is on the next two months and the next eight games with Pacific FC,” Norman said.
But the 21-year-old wants to keep the focus on on the now to be prepared for the next step. “Well first and foremost, I want to help the team as much as I can,” Norman said when asked on what he wants to achieve before making the step back to MLS. “So having good performances for myself and helping the team. We have a good exciting group of players here.”
“I think we can string some more good results together and achieve things in the CPL,” Norman concluded.