“We have a good group of guys here. The young players are bright and they’re willing to keep getting better and trying to offer me more service so hopefully Saturday will be a better day.”
These were the words of 'Caps forward Lucas Cavallini on Tuesday, as the squad continues to make preparations ahead of their three-match home stand beginning this Saturday against Toronto FC (6:30 p.m. PT kickoff on TSN1 and TSN 1040 radio).
The ‘Caps find themselves behind in the eight ball in the battle for a Canadian Championship Final spot after coming away empty off their three-game road trip out east, but the focus remains on winning the next three at home.
“Obviously, get as many points as we can within with these next three, three finals that we have here in the country,” Cavallini says.
Coach Marc Dos Santos has stressed before how the missed time for players like Cavallini, who stayed behind during the MLS is Back Tournament, means that there will be a period of adaptation. However, he too remains steadfast in his thoughts on how the team can continue to improve.
Ahead of their rematch with TFC, Dos Santos feels they have learned a lot from the first two games away.
“Toronto is a team that has a lot of quality, and that’s the reason they are in first place,” Dos Santos said on Tuesday morning on TSN Radio 1040.
- TSN Radio 1040: Dos Santos: We're trying to find solutions
Cavallini too emphasized TFC's quality, but believes that playing at home combined with the experience of the games away will present the ‘Caps a better chance to snag all three points.
“We spent a lot of time on our attacking play, how could improve in the final third that we could get more scoring opportunities. There was a lot of film individually, by groups, and also with with everybody involved,” says Dos Santos.
Aggressiveness might be key to creating more chances, according to Dos Santos.
“We made sure that in training we were able to address a lot of the why's and how can we be more aggressive, how can we create more, that was important for us in the last three days.”
Dos Santos will continue to promote young players having given the likes of Patrick Metcalfe and Michael Baldisimo their MLS debuts in the past few games.
Erik Godoy and Janio Bikel, out injured in the past few games might also see a return to match fitness soon.
In the meantime, the ‘Caps will have to rely on veteran Tosaint Ricketts, who echoes Cavallini's and Dos Santos' views.
“I mean it's football. There's going to be droughts, whether it's a loss drought or a scoring drought or just the team's not in the right moment. But the thing about football is that it changes day to day, game to game. We can come out next game, and put out a good performance and whatever happened in the past is forgotten.”