Nothing in 2020 has been normal nor straightforward, it seems, so it shouldn't be a huge surprise that on September 2, Vancouver Whitecaps club-record signing Lucas Cavallini has yet to score his first goal for the club.
In normal circumstances, the 'Caps would have played north of 25 games already and it would have been a crisis had Cavallini gone cold for so long. Still, even throughout this stop-start 2020 for the Canadian international, he's not content with the fact that he hasn't found the back of the net in a Whitecaps kit after five matches.
“Yeah, it gets frustrating," Cavallini told reporters on a virtual press conference on Tuesday. "The kind of passionate player I am— this is a lifestyle, I live for this, I live to score goals. It’s frustrating for me, but you can’t really feel frustrated. You have to be calm and stay positive."
Cavallini is finding the positivity in the belief that once he gets the first, he thinks the ball will roll downhill from there.
"Once I start scoring, I know I won’t stop," Cavallini said.
The Whitecaps' recent attacking struggles go far beyond just Cavallini, though their big-money forward will get plenty of the headlines. Vancouver have yet to score in three matches since returning from the MLS is Back Tournament, losing twice to Toronto FC and once to the Montreal Impact. They go again on Saturday to try and get back on track against TFC (9:30 pm ET | TSN in Canada, MLS Live on ESPN+ in US).
“The important thing is to not focus solely on Cava, that’d be unfair," head coach Marc Dos Santos said. "It’s about focusing on what happens around Cava. Balls in the box, situations around the box, crosses. That hasn’t been good enough. Sometimes we take too many touches before playing a ball, we’re not pragmatic enough to be more aggressive.”
Dos Santos explained that getting the attack whirring has been the main focus at training. The club have worked in the video room with individual, group and team sessions for changes to make then furthered those tips on the pitch with a number of specific training drills.
"We hope that this quantity of work can translate to something during games," Cavallini said.