SAN DIEGO, CALIF. -- After a week in the sunshine of Southern California, the new Whitecaps roster is starting to take shape.

There are still a few holes to fill in, but the squad says it's well ahead of last year's pace.

"We are in a much better position as we have a solid core and our major signings are all ready with us," Whitecaps coach Marc Dos Santos told CTV News.

Vancouver Whitecaps spent money in the offseason to acquire Lucas Cavallini, a reported $6 million transfer fee, wearing number 9 on the practice pitch the striker has one goal in mind.

"I like to score goals as a striker that's my number one objective. I like diagonal runs; it make the defenders go crazy," said Cavallini

"For us, he has a lot of what we need in that position and that's why he is here," said Dos Santos

The 27-year-old played last season in Mexico and is one of three designated players on the roster.

The changes are not only on the field, but in the front office. Mark Pannes is the new CEO and he's developing a game plan to lure fans into B.C. Place to watch the Whitecaps.

"My challenge is to make sure that our football squad has the best opportunity to win matches," Pannes told CTV News. "The best way we can do that is by filling that building and giving ourselves the home pitch advantage." 

Alongside Pannes is Axel Schuster, the club's new sporting director. Schuster is responsible for building and managing the entire technical operation of the club.

"First we define the talent, go to the market to find the talent then bring in the talent then work with the talent to develop players who can impact our game," Schuster told CTV News.

"Since I've arrived I've felt a very strong commitment from owners to better the club," Dos Santos said.

Marc Dos Santos now has a wide selection of talent he can work with this preseason, the 42-year-old from Montreal knows that not all the pieces are in place, but his team is steadily improving. 

Training camp resumes on Friday. On Saturday, the team will play a friendly with FC Dallas, then fly to Los Angeles to face the LA Galaxy.