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  • Lucas Cavallini on Canada: I regret my decision a lot


    A few points before we get to the money shots.

    • At no point in the article does Cavallini actually say he won't play for Canada again.
    • As pointed out to me today on Twitter, the writer goes lengths to paint Cavallini as Canadian.
    • His comment about being embarrassed by the 8-1 loss to Honduras doesn't mean anything. Every player in a Canadian shirt was humiliated that day.
    • Ultimately this is not terribly surprising. As Daniel Squizzato and others have reported straight from Benito Floro's mouth more than once, Cavallini has repeatedly turned down Canada callups for no good reason.

    Here's the bit on Canada:

    Jugaste en la selección de Canadá…

    Primero jugué en la Sub-20 de Canadá. Debuté en la Sub-20 en el 2011 en el campeonato de CONCACAF en Guatemala. Después me citaron tres veces para la selección sub-23 por mi rendimiento en un tipo diferente de liga, que se valora mucho en el mundo, la liga de Uruguay por todos los jugadores que saca. Debuté en Canadá contra Trinidad, ganamos 2 a 0. Después en Octubre del 2012 fui citado para jugar contra Honduras, en Honduras, por la mayor. Yo estaba en casa a punto de dormirme. Era un viernes de noche. Jugaba con Juventud al día siguiente contra Fénix y me llamaron porque se había lesionado el 9 y necesitaban un sustituto. El partido era un martes. El sábado hice un gol, empatamos contra Fénix y fui al aeropuerto que casi llego tarde y viajé, pero no jugué de entrada. Me da vergüenza el resultado, fue de derrota 8 a 1. Yo entré a los 65 minutos y pude hacer algo, pude cambiar el partido un poquito. Así debuté en la mayor, en un partido oficial clasificatorio, pero ahora me arrepiento mucho porque la verdad, mi hija capaz que algún día me dice, “Papá ¿por qué nunca pudiste jugar en la Selección Uruguaya?”.

    You played for Canada...

    At first, I played in Canada's sub-20. I debuted in the sub-20 in 2011 in the Concacaf championship in Guatemala. After that, they called me three times to the U23 team based on my performance in a different kind of league, one that's valued a lot around the world, the Uruguayan league, due to all the players the come out of there. I debuted for Canada against Trinidad, and we won 2-0. Then in October 2012 I was called to play against Honduras, in Honduras, for the senior team. I was at home about to go to sleep. It was a Friday night. I played with Juventud the next day against Fenix and they called me because the regular number 9 had been hurt and needed a replacement. The game was Tuesday. That Saturday I scored a goal and we drew against Fenix and I went to the airport and almost missed the flight. But I didn't start the game. I was embarrassed by the result, it was a 8-1 loss. I entered on 65 minutes and was able to do something; I was able to change the game a little. That's how I debuted with the senior team, in an official qualifying match, but now I regret it a lot because to be honest, my daughter could ask me one day, "Dad, why weren't you ever able to play for the Uruguayan national team?"

    Language can be funny. Upon reading the passage carefully and doing the translating it's no longer clear to me whether he actually regrets pinning his international future to Canada, or more sort of regrets the fact his Uruguayan-born daughter won't ever be able to see her dad play for her country's national team. Yes, I'm splitting hairs. What is clear is that this is far from a gushing endorsement of the Canadian national team or his potential future involvement with it.

    One other part of the interview struck me as odd. It was in response to a question about how Cavallini is enjoying life in his adopted country. Toronto is big and cold, both literally and metaphorically, whereas Uruguay is laid-back and warm.

    Me gusta vivir en Uruguay, que es un país chico, tranquilo, me gusta siempre ir en los días lindos de tarde a la rambla a tomar mate con mi mujer y mi hija. A mí me gusta la vida así, tranquila. En Canadá tenés mucha gente por todos lados, multicultural. Acá compartís todas las cosas con toda la gente. Acá es tranquilo.

    I like living in Uruguay; it's a small country, tranquil. I always like going for walks on nice afternoons, drinking mate with my partner and my daughter. For me, I like living like this. In Canada you have many people from all over the world, it's multicultural. Here, you share everything with everyone else. It's peaceful here.

    I've made a few feeble attempts to track Cavallini down over the years, through the CSA, his club and the Uruguayan community in Toronto. All those calls fizzled. Until someone tracks him down and gets him on the record we won't know whether he'll ever play for Canada again. Until that time, Canadian soccer supporters should focus their attention elsewhere. Lucas Cavallini is a promising talent in a unique club situation. He could help the Canadian men's team immediately in an area it desperately requires help in: scoring goals. That said, he is not, nor was he ever, a saviour.

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