VANCOUVER, B.C. — When Vancouver Whitecaps striker Lucas Cavallini made the move back to Canada at the start of this year, little could he have expected a few months later he would be isolated with his family in their new home, apart from his new teammates, and unable to play the game he loves.
Cavallini returned to his home country after leaving as a 16-year-old, carving out an 11-year career in Uruguay before signing a MLS deal with the 'Caps back in December.
His wife and three young children made the move to Vancouver in January, and although many of the aspects and mechanics of living in Canada are still new and strange for the Cavallinis, at a time like this, where the world is disrupted by a global pandemic, there's certainly no place he'd rather be than home.
"It's certainly better," Cavallini told MLSsoccer.com. "In a crisis situation, the health system in Canada is way better than anywhere I've lived. I'm not saying they're bad healthcares, but Canada, I've always loved our health system and how they treat us.
"Also the Whitecaps provide us with everything and if you're ever in doubt or have any concerns, we have someone to speak to and they can help us out right away. I'm happy to be here. Canada's Canada. That's why we're a first world country."
Cavallini, who sealed Canada's first win over the USMNT in 35 years in October, originally hails from Ontario and his family still lives there. But born to an Argentine father and Canadian mother, and having lived over a third of his life in Uruguay, Cavallini’s family and friends are spread all over.
He's keeping in touch with them the best he can through the wonders of modern technology, and while he at least knows they are currently safe and well, he's seeing firsthand how different countries and different cultures are dealing with the current crisis.
"Every country's in a different situation," Cavallini said. "They have their own laws, they have a different kind of lifestyle and stuff like that. Canada's a really good country to live in. They're doing what it takes to get past this situation, but I've been speaking to friends and old teammates that are living in other countries and it's not the same as it is here.
"The people don't respect social distancing and staying in their homes. It's not like here at all, but eventually things are going to get worse and they're going to have to be more respectful and obey what they're trying to tell them."