Whitecaps FC 2 are presented with a great opportunity to get back in the win column when they host Cascadia rival Portland Timbers 2 at McLeod Athletic Park in Langley on Saturday. Kickoff is at 3 p.m.
David Norman Jr.
If you’re going to be in attendance on Saturday, pay attention to #42 in white, David Norman Jr. The two-way midfielder from Coquitlam has really come into his own in 2017. Norman Jr. leads WFC2 in chances created (34), duels won (120), assists (3), and is tied for the lead in starts (22) and is second in tackles (51).
I asked the teenager if playmaking was something he wanted to improve on coming into the season.
“Yeah, I think so. I think coming into the season I knew I would be more of a defensive type of midfielder and my job was to win balls back and get some of our more creative players the ball. But I think from this year, from set piece duties, and from when I’ve played, I’ve done my job in creating chances and making some goals for our team.”
The WFC Residency product isn’t done and has already set specific goals heading into 2018.
“For me, it would be some of my physicality - so getting a bit stronger, a bit quicker, a bit fitter in those areas, and then speed of play, knowing when the next pass is when the ball gets to me.”
Up front, another local kid #61 Terran Campbell is beginning to come into his own in his third season in the USL. A week before his 19th birthday, Campbell looked back at his growth from entering the Residency in 2011 until now.
“When I came in, I didn’t really know anyone, and I just did my thing with the pre-Residency. Through the Residency program, I worked my way up and I matured both with my game and as a human, and it’s good for me.”
The Burnaby native is second on the team with 26 shots, and tied for third with three goals in 18 starts. Campbell has been learning how to use his physical attributes to his advantage.
“My power and strength, and learning the game more. I think I’ve been doing well with getting in behind, and getting my crosses in and doing my job as a winger.”
An elite scorer at the Residency level, expect Campbell to come into his own in the USL sooner rather than later.
Arriving north of the border winless in their last eight, Portland Timbers 2 are hungry for a victory. This is the third installment of the Cascadia rivalry this season with Vancouver victorious in the previous two meetings down in Oregon. It will be T2 looking to spoil the clean sweep at McLeod.
They're led by 20-year-old Colombian Victor Arboleda. Arboleda was ranked sixth in this year's USL 20 Under 20 poll. The forward has shown great promise with three goals in 12 appearances, hoping to make a big enough impression to crack the first team lineup in the spring of 2018.