FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Tajon Buchanan has established himself as a game changer for the New England Revolution – appearing in every match since the start of the 2020 season – and the 22-year-old winger is now emerging as a consistent presence with the Canada Men’s National Team, as well.
Buchanan, who earned his first four caps at the senior level last month during 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, was named to Canada’s 23-man roster for the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup on Thursday afternoon. He’ll join up with the national team following the Revolution’s nationally-televised meeting with the Columbus Crew on Saturday evening (5 p.m. ET, ESPN).
“Always an honor when you get called up for your national team,” Buchanan said on Thursday, moments after the official announcement. “Back a couple weeks ago when I got called to World Cup Qualifying, I was very proud, and to be announced again on the Gold Cup roster, I’m super happy. It’s a big moment.
“I’m just going in, trying to get more game time, and do what I’ve been doing. At the World Cup Qualifying, I came on the field every game and tried to make a difference when I came in. So, I’m just trying to go in again, have that same mindset, and just trying to build off the last camp, and trying to play a bigger role.”
Buchanan figures to be a key contributor for a Canadian side brimming with confidence after advancing past Haiti into the final round of Concacaf World Cup Qualifying for the first time since 1997. John Herdman’s roster features a mix of European-based stars like Alphonso Davies and Cyle Larin, as well as up-and-coming MLS talent like Buchanan, Ayo Akinola, Mark-Anthony Kaye, and Richie Laryea.
Joining the United States, Martinique, and a yet-to-be-determined side in Group B of the Gold Cup, Canada will have their sights set on a deep run in the competition, especially after their disappointing exit at the quarterfinal stage of the 2019 tournament.
“Every time I get called into the national team, everyone’s going in to compete for spots,” Buchanan said. “We’re all representing Canada, and now we’re trying to win a trophy. So going in, everyone’s going to be fighting for spots.
“My mindset is always, going in, to start every game, and if I get the opportunity to, I’m going to make the most of it. But if I don’t, I’m just going to keep my head down, keep working. We’re all there for the same goal, which is to win the Gold Cup.”
Buchanan hasn’t been keeping his head down in the Revolution locker room, however, where he has already engaged in plenty of playful banter with teammate Matt Turner, named to the U.S. National Team roster for the Gold Cup. Canada and the U.S. will square off in the group finale on July 18, creating the potential for Buchanan and Turner to meet on the international stage.
“We have a few giggles in the locker room, me and him, because we sit next to each other,” Buchanan said. “I’m extremely looking forward to that game coming up against Matt, and hopefully I can score on him.
“He has a lot to say right now, but right now we’re focused on the first game [against Martinique] and I’m super happy just to be called in and focus on going into camp. But yeah, when that time comes, I’m definitely going to be looking forward to it, and probably him, too.”