A special player with a bright future, Kadeisha Buchanan is on the verge of becoming one of Canada’s best female soccer stars.
The defender is the only Canadian named to the International Soccer Federation (FIFA) Technical Study Group 23-member All-Star list in the wake of the Women’s World Cup in Canada this summer.
The 19-year-old played every minute in Canada’s five games that ended with a 2-1 loss to England in the quarter-finals.
Buchanan is a junior at West Virginia University (WVU).
“This honour speaks highly of what FIFA’s Technical Support Group thinks of Kadeisha’s technical and tactical play at centre back, especially against the world’s best talent,” said Nikki Izzo-Brown, the only coach in the women’s soccer program’s 19-year history. “The group’s vote of confidence really says a lot about how well Kadeisha played throughout the tournament on the game’s biggest stage.”
Buchanan and Canadian teammate Ashley Lawrence made history by becoming the first active WVU players to be named to a national World Cup team.
The daughter of Jamaican immigrant parents, Buchanan was also the recipient of the Hyundai Young Player Award.
She has started all but three of 40 matches with the senior national team since debuting at the 2013 Yongchuan Cup tournament in China.
The youngest of seven girls raised by their mother, Buchanan is the reigning two-time Canadian Under-20 Player of the Year and Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year.
Earlier this month, Buchanan and Lawrence were named to the Missouri Athletic Club (MAC) Hermann Trophy Watch List released by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. The award is college soccer’s version of football’s Heisman Trophy and represents the highest level of individual achievement in the sport.
WVU is one of five schools with two student athletes on the list.
“Earning a spot on the MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List is an amazing achievement for Kadeisha and Ashley,” said Izzo-Brown. “Landing on this list is recognition of all the hard work these talented athletes put in each day. I am extremely excited for both of them to have the opportunity to be part of such a prestigious list.”
Meanwhile, Canada’s Under-23 team has been drawn in the same group with the United States, Cuba and Panama as they seek a spot in next year’s Rio Olympics.
“I think all the teams are very good teams, so we cannot say that our group is more difficult than the other one,” said coach Benito Floro. “They are similar. We believe that if we get all the players we’d like, we could have a very good team and we can compete with anyone and that we can play very well and win our games.”
Canada meets the Americans on October 1 and Panama two days later in Kansas City before closing out the round against Cuba on October 6 in Colorado.
“If we win or tie while playing well at the same time, which will always be our intention, we could say that is good that we start against the USA,” said Floro. “But it is not necessary to think about that right now because the most important thing is to play the game and to trust in what we can do on the pitch.”
The other group comprises Mexico, Honduras, Haiti and the winner of a playoff between Guatemala and Costa Rica.
The top two teams in each group advance to the semi-finals on October 10 in Utah. The semi-final winners will qualify for the Olympics while the winner of a third-place game will head to a playoff against Colombia for the final berth.