Tajon Buchanan vs. Sporting Kansas City
William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

Buchanan makes first MLS start on short notice, responds with a pair of assists

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – While there were challenges both before and during the New England Revolution’s 4-4 draw at Sporting Kansas City, unforeseen injury circumstances provided Revs rookie Tajon Buchanan with his first career MLS start, and the 20-year-old made the most of his opportunity.

“It was an interesting one because we only had two days to prepare for the game, as you know,” said head coach Brad Friedel regarding Buchanan’s first start. “[Antonio] Delamea was penciled in to start and Brandon Bye was going to play where Tajon was, and Toni got a concussion on Friday in training, so we had to shuffle things up.”

Buchanan didn’t think twice when he found out that he was finally getting the starting chance he had been training for his whole life.

“I was always going to be prepared,” said Buchanan. “I’ve been working towards this ever since I got here, and when my name was called I knew I was prepared and ready to go, and I just wanted to come out and help the team.”

The Generation adidas athlete did just that, providing a much-needed attacking spark as he registered not one, but his first two assists at the professional level.

“He’s a crafty player,” said Juan Agudelo, who scored off of Buchanan’s assist along with Revs forward Juan Fernando Caicedo. “He showed his skill there. Obviously, he was able to get a cross off of his weak foot, and luckily I was there.

“But overall, it was a very tough game for him to come into, and I thought he handled it very well. It’s not an easy place to get your first start, and I’m happy for him.”

The rookie wasn’t shy to make creative crosses in his starting debut, and he also wasn’t afraid to face Sporting KC’s backline in 1-v-1 situations. This relentless attitude paired with his pace put him in the right places to generate chances for his teammates to bury.

“It definitely felt good,” said Buchanan with regards to going against SKC players 1-v-1. “I felt like I could beat the guys I was going against, and coach just kept telling me to keep going by them, run by them, use my pace, and that’s what I did.”

As the Revs play two more consecutive road games in the midst of a busy month of May, there will unquestionably be some rotation in the starting lineup. Buchanan grabbed hold of his first start and made the most of the professional minutes, and with the five upcoming games the Revs have in a 15 day-span, we will likely see Buchanan with another chance to show what he brings to this squad soon.