From Uruguay to Mexico and now Vancouver, Lucas Cavallini has enjoyed many fruitful memories across his 10-year career, wearing the shirts of six different clubs, as well as the Red and White for Canada.
Now with 250 appearances for club and country, we look back at El Tanque’s Top 10 moments in his career before he puts on the Maple Leaf jersey once again in CanMNT’s upcoming World Cup Qualifiers.
10. First ‘Caps brace vs. LAFC: 2-1 win vs. LAFC on October 14, 2020
With the ‘Caps needing a win against former Supporter’s Shield winners LAFC to keep their playoff hopes alive, El Tanque stepped up to the occasion and bagged a brace off some exceptional build-up play from the Blue and White.
The first came from a perfectly-timed Fredy Montero through-ball to fellow Colombian Cristian Dájome, who squared the ball right into the path of Cavallini for a simple finish past LAFC goalkeeper Pablo Sisniega.
The second once again came from some neat combination play between the two Colombians, with Montero this time crossing into the middle for Cavallini to volley home his first ‘Caps brace and the eventual game winner to keep the ‘Caps in the Western Conference playoff race.
Encore une reprise de volley pour le doublé de Lucas Cavallini 🇨🇦 et #VWFC s’impose 2-1 contre #LAFC ! Encore une surprise ! Les Whitecaps reviennent de loin et se placent maintenant pour les playoffs ! pic.twitter.com/CcsZ42PKKK— La MLS en Français 🇺🇸🇨🇦🇫🇷 (@MLS_FRA) October 15, 2020
9. First goal with Peñarol: 4-0 win vs. Montevideo Wanderers (Uruguayan Primera Division Apertura) on February 26, 2017
There are plenty of historical and well-regarded clubs across South America, but none can get as big as Uruguayan Primera Division side Peñarol.
Having had a huge reputation for producing some of the best young talent in the country, the club decided to take a chance on a young Cavallini, signing him to a two-year deal in January 2017.
In his fourth game for the club, El Tanque fired home his first Peñarol goal in a 4-0 away win over Montevideo Wanderers, etching his name into club history as he became the first Canadian player to score for the famed South American side.
8. CanMNT hat trick vs. Cayman Islands: 11-0 win vs. Cayman Islands (2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifying) on March 30, 2021
One of the more recent moments on this list, El Tanque tallied an 8-minute hat-trick in his last appearance for the Canadian Men’s National Team back on March 30 in an 11-0 win over the Cayman Islands.
The first came in the 68th minute, with Cavallini heading home off a wonderful ball in from Nashville SC fullback Alistair Johnston.
Just five minutes later, Cavallini would once again find the back of the net via a header, this time thanks a great delivery from midfielder Junior Hoilett.
As soon as El Tanque finished celebrating his second goal, he was already celebrating a third, as Hoilett once again supplied the ‘Caps striker with a chipped ball into the area to set up Cavallini for the half-volley finish and his second CanMNT hat trick.
7. Game-winning goal with Puebla vs. Monterrey: 2-1 win vs. Monterrey (Liga MX Apertura) on September 1, 2018
El Tanque scored plenty of goals during his time with Liga MX side Puebla, but perhaps none were more memorable than his game-winning, stoppage-time goal to give his team a 2-1 win over Mexican powerhouse Monterrey.
6. Cava opens CanMNT account: 8-0 win vs. US Virgin Islands (Concacaf Nations League Qualifying) on September 9, 2018
Just a week after the winner versus Monterrey, Cavallini opened his CanMNT account.
El Tanque found the back of the net for his country in his eighth appearance during an 8-0 rout of US Virgin Islands in Concacaf Nations League Qualifying.
In the eighth minute of play, Toronto FC midfielder Jonathan Osorio rattled a shot off the crossbar and into the path of Cavallini, who headed in his first goal for Canada.
El Tanque wouldn’t have to wait long for his second international goal, as he volleyed home Canada’s fifth goal of the match in the 44th minute after a neat turn in the penalty area.
5. Stunning debut season with Puebla
In August 2017, Cavallini joined Liga MX side Puebla on a season-long loan from Peñarol, becoming the first Canadian to play in the league since Isidro Sánchez Macip in 2010.
In just his second appearance for the club, Cavallini grabbed his first Liga MX goal on September 16 against Club Nexaca, a week after he made his debut against Cruz Azul.
El Tanque would go on to score 13 goals in 25 appearances for Los Camoteros across the Apertura and Clausura seasons, finishing third in the golden boot race during the Clausura.
His performances earned him a permanent contract with the Mexican side, signing a four-year-deal in June 2018.
4. First professional goal with Juventud: 1-0 win vs. Central Español (Uruguayan Primera Division Apertura) on September 2, 2012
The first one is the sweetest, as they say.
His very first goal was the winner as a then-19 year old kid showed glimpses of what's to come.
Fast forward to nine years later, Cavallini is nearing the century-mark for goals.
3. First ‘Caps goal: 3-2 win vs. Toronto FC on September 5, 2020
Just like his first CanMNT goal, Cavallini had to wait for his first ‘Caps goal and it couldn’t have come against a more fitting opponent.
Having spent part of his childhood living in Toronto, El Tanque headed in his first goal for the Blue and White against Toronto FC at BC Place in a 3-2 win thanks to a wonderful ball in from Ali Adnan.
Once the ball went in, you just knew it was going to be the first of many.
2. CanMNT Gold Cup hat trick: 7-0 win vs. Cuba (Concacaf Gold Cup) on June 24, 2019
Cavallini's three goals all came in the first half to put away the match early, helping Canada clinch a spot in the quarterfinals.
After one goal, Cavallini did his one of his memorable celebrations, sticking his left thumb in his mouth, while holding up four fingers with his right hand, and thumped his chest before kissing his hands and pointing to the sky.
Did you know that Canada's Lucas Cavallini 🇨🇦 scored a hat-trick against Cuba 🇨🇺 in the 2019 Gold Cup? 😱— Gold Cup (@GoldCup) May 18, 2021
It was the strikers only hat-trick in the tournament! #GoldCup21 🏆 #ThisIsOurs pic.twitter.com/6vr7AoUMQ8
1. CanMNT Goal vs. USMNT: 2-0 win vs. United States (Concacaf Nations League) on October 16, 2019
Big-time players show up for big-time moments, and it was Cavallini stepping up to the forefront for the Canadians in their historic victory over the United States.
Making it that more special is the setup from childhood friend Jonathan Osorio.
A special moment for what's been an illustrious career so far, but El Tanque is far from done.
Cavallini and the Canadian men's national team face Aruba on Saturday, June 5 at IMG Academy Centre in Bradenton, FL with kickoff set for 5 p.m. PT. They face Suriname on Tuesday, June 8 at SeatGeek Stadium in Chicago, IL starting at 6 p.m. PT. Both matches will be broadcast live on OneSoccer.