Kadeisha Buchanan lets her talent speak
Do you know the Canadian who is not Alphonso Davies but has made a name for herself at one of the biggest soccer clubs in Europe?
Kadeisha Buchanan, the defender, is one of the most successful players in Canadian soccer history. Since going to France in 2017, she has helped the team Olympique Lyonnais win four French league titles and four UEFA Women’s Champions League crowns. She has been the Canadian player of the year three times and won an Olympic bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Games.
Many have not heard about her
But not many people in Canada have heard Buchanan’s name, perhaps because she has never won the Lou Marsh Trophy. If she doesn’t manage to score the winning goal in the gold-medal game at the 2020 Olympics, she may continue to be overshadowed by Christine Sinclair, Canada’s iconic captain.
But it seems growing up as the youngest of seven sisters in a single-parent family made Buchanan get used to not getting much attention, even though she is going to compete in her second Olympics by the age of 25.
Being the last child
Buchanan said being the last child in a big family is like you always fly under the radar. She said she is very observant and among the children of her family, she has been the calm one and she thinks that’s where it stems from.
Buchanan avoids spotlight
Indeed, it’s a long time that Buchanan has shunned the public spotlight, saying the reason is her humble upbringing.
Melsadie, her mother who has born in Jamaica, has seven girls and has raised them on her own. Melsadie worked multiple jobs to raise her children and enrolling Kadeisha in youth soccer each year presented serious financial challenges.
Buchanan says her mom always found a way to solve the problems and support her children. She asked, and begged friends and family to help pay her youngest daughter’s fees and pick her up and give her a lift when she wanted to go to practices and games. So, Buchanan was able to just concentrate on soccer.
Buchanan grew up in some dodgy neighborhoods, but she has learned the values of hard work and sacrifice seeing her mother.
Daughter learns from mother
Seeing her mother trying hard to make ends meet was Buchanan’s motivation. She always thought she wants to make it big for her family and she wants to be successful. She is the first one in her family to graduate from university.
Living in not-so-good neighborhoods, Buchanan decided not to get caught up in those situations and tried to pave her own way. So she stuck her head in soccer, and that passion for the game was what got her through.
A name among the world’s best defenders
Buchanan’s mentality didn’t just get her through, she is now a major figure on the Canadian women’s team and one of the best central defenders among the world’s players.
Her professional life
Buchanan played her first game when he was 8, earned her first cap for the Canadian women’s team while she was a high school student, and played in a match against China when she was 17. Studying at the University of West Virginia, she became a four-time All-American and a Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. Winning the MAC Hermann Trophy was the last thing she did in her NCAA career.
19-year-old Buchanan was named the young player of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. A year later, Canada won its second Olympic bronze medal having Buchanan in the team. She has had 103 national team appearances, scoring four goals and tallying three assists. She is one of the players going to play for Canada in the Tokyo Olympics.
In 2017, Buchanan’s reputation was such that she was being monitored by several big European clubs. She signed with Lyon in January 2017. Moved to the French league, Buchanan has been paid off huge dividends.
About moving to France, Buchanan says playing for Canada, most of her play was physical, but when she moved to France, she saw their style of play is different. In France, they play more possession-based and it helped her gain better control on the ball and develop her passing ability. She considers it as her game getting technically improved over the last four years.
Bev Priestman, head coach of the Canada women’s national soccer team, says Buchanan is a world-class center back. She believes nobody wants to play against Kadeisha. She makes the game hard for any forward coming up against her. Priestman also says Buchanan’s passing ability has developed at Lyon and she’s got cleaner technically. She is a great player with leadership capacity.
But what she means to the Canadian team hasn’t changed. Her teammates love and respect her as a leader. Jayde Riviere believes Buchanan brings a unique type of leadership, different from Sinclair’s.
She doesn’t care about being under-appreciated
Buchanan doesn’t care about being under-appreciated by Canadian sports fans. She can only control what she can control and achieve extra recognition isn’t what motivates her.
She says the most important thing for her is that her teammates have trust in her. She prefers to focus on the task and her immediate surroundings. She lets her football speak for itself and getting better as a person is more important to her than having many followers on social media.