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Whitecaps sign Canadian striker Lucas Cavallini to 3 year deal

The Vancouver Whitecaps have paid a big price to try and fill a large hole in their offence.

The Whitecaps have signed Canadian striker Lucas Cavallini in hopes of bringing some scoring punch to the Major League Soccer squad.

“I was impressed with what Vancouver had to offer me as a footballer,” Cavallini, a Toronto native who had been playing for Club Puebla in the top Mexican league, told a news conference Monday. “Obviously they brought me here for a reason. What I would like to do is score goals and help this team as much as possible.”

The Whitecaps managed just 31 goals last season, the second least in the league, while struggling to an 8-16-10 record. They finished last in the Western Conference and missed the playoffs for the third time in four years.

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Cavallini scored 29 goals and added eight assists in 81 appearances across all competitions over 2 1/2 seasons with Puebla.

He also scored 11 times in 17 senior national team appearances with Canada, including goals versus Mexico and the United States.

Nicknamed El Tangue or The Tank, the 26-year-old brings size and speed.

“I like to work off the ball,” he said. “I like to drive the defenders crazy.”

The Whitecaps are hoping to restore some shine to a brand that has been tarnished. The team’s struggles on the field has resulted in empty seats at BC Place.

Cavallini understands the expectations being placed on him. “I come from leagues where the fans pressure the players way more than here,” he said. “Pressure is not going to be a question.

“Obviously, the big objective here is making playoffs. That’s something important for me, it’s something important for the club. That’s the key thing we need this season.”

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