FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – As the New England Revolution have found more consistency in their starting XI throughout the past six games, there’s a young winger who has become a staple in the lineup.
Since September 12 when Tajon Buchanan came off the bench to net his first career goal against the Philadelphia Union, the 21-year-old has found a new sense of confidence. In less than a month, Buchanan has become a key player for chance creation in the starting XI and is currently on his fifth consecutive start.
"I've been training hard," said Buchanan. "My teammates and coaches have given me the confidence to keep going and keep shooting. The goal that I scored in Philly has boosted my confidence a little bit so hopefully I can just keep going and start popping more of them in the back of the net."
Buchanan's teammates have seen the confidence that he carries as he grows with each opportunity he has to step onto the pitch.
“Tajon is obviously talented, you can see his quality,” said Tommy McNamara. “He helped us a lot when he came into the side. I think what’s been great about Tajon is that clearly he has the athletic ability, the technical ability. He’s still a young player but you see him kind of grow every game tactically of what he should be doing and where he should be going."
As he learns quickly on the job, Buchanan is showing no signs of slowing down.
“He’s been aggressive going to goal,” said head coach Bruce Arena. “He’s trying to create chances.”
That assertiveness is a quality that Buchanan’s teammates admire most on the pitch.
“I think the best thing about Tajon is just his aggressiveness and how aggressive he is to just get after players, to run at players, to go at people one-on-one and do it over and over again,” said McNamara.
“Even when he’s getting fouled and the ref won’t call a foul or the ref won’t give yellow cards for whatever reason, the aggressiveness that he plays with and his mentality, that’s what people don’t talk about and that’s a very special trait of his and it makes a massive difference in games.”
Buchanan also embraces and thrives off this attribute.
“It’s part of my game style,” said Buchanan. “I like to go at guys one-on-one and be a threat all the time running in behind. I’m just trying to help my team by getting into great positions and if that’s winning a free kick for us then I’m just going to keep doing it and keep running at whoever is defending me.”
“He’s playing well,” said Arena. “It’s really encouraging to see him develop.”
With only seven regular season games left, Buchanan will have additional opportunities to continue to progress. The New England Revolution will next kick off at New York City FC on Sunday, October 11, with game time set for 4:30 p.m. ET (NBC Sports Boston, 98.5 The Sports Hub).