Updated on Jan. 15: It looks like Lucas Cavallini is in fact not going to Spain. Tenfield.com reports he has been sent on loan to the Uruguyan first division side Centro Atlético Fénix. So Canada keeps at least one member of its player pool in South American club soccer after all.
Buried in an article on the Uruguayan sports portal Tenfield.com on Thursday was news that Canadian international Lucas Cavallini, currently with the iconic club Nacional, may be headed to Spain (presumably in January).
The 21-year-old striker enjoyed a breakout year while on loan to Juventud over 2012/13, notching 10 goals in 25 appearances in the Uruguayan first division. The Mississauga native then returned to Nacional, one of the most famous club sides in South America, for the first half of this season. Unfortunately for him (and for Canadian soccer supporters) the youngster was unable to replicate that form in the first half of this season, when he was limited to zero goals in four substitute appearances.
CSN is attempting to contact Cavallini and has reached out to the press office of Nacional to confirm the report.
The report (Spanish link) quotes Nacional's sporting director Alejandro Lembo as saying Cavallini has an offer from Spain, though he doesn't mention which club.
Over the Christmas holiday reports from Uruguay said Nacional manager Gerardo Pelusso wanted to send Cavallini on loan for the Clasura portion of the South America football season but was having trouble finding takers. It seems the Uruguayan side Tanque Sisley was for a time interested in Cavallini, but nothing has been confirmed.
Where this leaves Cavallini is uncertain. It’s fair to say 2013 won’t be remembered as a year Canadian internationals covered themselves in glory on the playing fields of Europe. So as we begin a new year it’s disappointing to learn that the lone member of the men’s player pool based in South America may also lie in something of a club limbo.
Cavallini showed promise with Canada's U23 side at the Olympic qualifying tournament in March 2012, scoring the first goal in a surprise 2-0 victory over the U.S. in Nashville. He was cap-tied permanently with a substitute appearance in the supremely painful 8-1 loss to Honduras that eliminated Canada from the 2014 World Cup qualifying process a year and a half ago.
Cavallini has not yet answered the call from current men's coach Benito Floro through several games in 2013, a fact that caused mild concern among Canadian national team followers. Former national team manager Stephen Hart called out his unique position in South American club soccer as possibly bringing a different dimension to the side.
So... How are we feeling about Cavallini moving to Spain, with the caveat that it's not yet certain where he would go?