Jay Chapman fútbol focus 8.4.2020

Fútbol Focus: Jay Chapman

Canadian midfielder Jay Chapman had grown accustomed to life in his home country of Canada as a long-tenured member of Toronto FC. Now, he is quickly settling in sunny South Florida as a member of Inter Miami. The steady midfield presence brings his sharp passing and calm presence to the expansion franchise in its inaugural season.

The 26-year-old Brampton, Ontario native has enjoyed a successful career so far, making an impact at his former club Toronto FC, as well as his collegiate team Michigan State University and the Canadian National Team.

Chapman spent the later stages of his pre-professional career in the Toronto FC Academy where he developed and caught the eye of the Canadian National Team setup. His talent at a young age earned him a call-up to the Canadian U-17 team for the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup. Following his time in the Toronto FC Academy, he went on to make the journey south from Canada to attend Michigan State University. There he became a standout for the Spartans in his three seasons with the team.

The Canadian excelled at the collegiate level, tallying 12 goals and 14 assists in 64 appearances from his midfield position. For his efforts in his final season at the school, in which he finished with five goals and five assists, he was named a First Team All-American, a Mac Hermann Trophy semifinalist, and Big Ten Midfielder of the Year.

Following his departure from the school Chapman signed his first professional contract for SC Toronto of the Canadian Soccer League; he would go on to make six appearances and score one goal for the team. His next stop came in the Premier Development League (now USL League Two) with K-W United FC where he made 25 league appearances and scored six goals for the team over the course of two seasons.

Next on his journey was a return to the club of his youth, as he signed a Homegrown contract with Toronto FC in 2015. There he spent time with both the club’s MLS side and on loan to its USL affiliate Toronto FC II. That year, he made nine appearances for Toronto FC II, registering two goals and one assist, as well as 10 appearances in MLS.

Chapman’s performances in his first season for the team earned him another youth national team call-up, this time appearing for the Canadian U-23 team in four Olympic qualifying matches. He made appearances in group stage matches against the United States and Panama, the semifinals against Mexico, and the third-place playoff match against the United States.

The midfielder went on to become an important figure for Toronto, notably helping the team thrive in 2017, playing an influential role as they won both the Supporters’ Shield and the MLS Cup. He also helped the team win three consecutive Canadian Championships from 2016 to 2018. Overall, he made 79 league appearances over five seasons with the team. In that time, he registered six goals, five assists and 2,897 minutes played. 

A successful 2017 was also marked by his first senior national team appearances, as he made his debut in a January friendly against Bermuda in which he scored a goal. He made his second appearance for the team in a September friendly that same year against Jamaica.

Now, Chapman brings both experience and potential to the Inter Miami midfield. The 26-year-old midfielder was acquired by the team in a trade with Toronto in November 2019. Since then, he has made three appearances for the team as a substitute, coming off the bench in each of the team’s MLS is Back Tournament matches. As the season continues, Chapman will look to continue solidifying the midfield both in training and on matchdays.