The Vancouver Whitecaps will be without their leading scorer for the rest of September after Major League Soccer’s disciplinary committee handed Lucas Cavalli a four-game suspension and an unspecified fine on Thursday.
Cavolini received a red card for stepping on an opponent’s head in the 53rd minute of Vancouver’s 3–0 loss to Nashville SC on August 27, and the Whitecaps on September 4 against San Jose. The match resulted in an automatic one-game suspension.
The disciplinary committee said in a statement that the three-game extra penalty was for “violent behaviour”.
The 29-year-old Canadian striker told reporters last week that he regretted the game.
“I haven’t slept since then,” Cavolini said. “I’m sorry for letting down my teammates, the club, the fans. … I hate to do things like that and let emotions get the better of me.”
Cavolini will miss Saturday’s game against the Rapids in Colorado and two additional games.
Head coach Vinny Sartini said the absence will be felt as the Whitecaps make a desperate push for a postseason berth.
The team currently sits eight points below the Western Conference playoff spot with five games left in the regular season.
“(Cavlini) is a guy who helped us win a lot of games,” Sartini said. “So of course we miss him.”
The five-foot-11, 190-pound Toronto native will be eligible to return on Oct. 1 when Vancouver hosts Austin FC.
He has eight goals and two assists in 22 MLS games for the Whitecaps (9-13-7) this season, along with eight yellow cards and one red.