The Canadian national women’s soccer team kicks off its 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign on June 10 against Cameroon. TSN will profile Canada’s 23 players in the 23 days leading up to their tournament opener.
Hometown: Brampton, Ont.
Position: Centre back
Club: Olympique Lyonnais (Division 1 Féminine France)
Kadeisha Buchanan burst onto the scene at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. As a 19-year-old, she played every minute of Canada’s five games and was a rock on the team’s backline. She won the Young Player Award, and was also named to the All-Star Team and the Dream Team.
Before 2015, Buchanan was a key figure for Canada at two youth-level Women’s World Cups. She played every minute for the Canadians at both the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup and the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. In 2013, Buchanan made her senior team debut at the age of 17.
Despite being just 23, Buchanan has already tallied an astonishing 87 appearances for the national team, starting in 83 of those games. She won Canadian Player of the Year in 2015 and 2017, and she also earned a bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, playing all 90 minutes in five of Canada’s six games.
However, one of her lowest moments came in the semi-final against Germany, when Buchanan carelessly brought down Alexandra Popp in the area, resulting in a penalty that Melanie Behringer converted. Germany beat Canada 2-0, and went on to win the gold medal.
But Buchanan’s career has definitely had more highs than lows. She won the 2016 MAC Hermann Trophy as the top NCAA player, joining Christine Sinclair as the only Canadian women to ever win the award. The defender helped lead West Virginia to the NCAA College Cup final that year.
In 2017, she signed her first professional contract with Olympique Lyonnais in France, one of the top clubs in the world. Although Buchanan has struggled to earn consistent playing time behind French stars Wendie Renard and Griedge Mbock Bathy, Lyon has won three French league titles during her tenure.
In 2017, Buchanan became the first Canadian international to hoist the Champions League trophy, and she would lift it again in 2018 and 2019.
Last year, Buchanan signed an extension that will see her stay with Lyon until 2022. While her agent, Alan Naigeon, didn’t reveal financial terms, he believes the new deal makes her one of the highest-paid female defenders in the world, behind only Renard.
Buchanan is a tenacious and speedy defender that is strong in one-on-one situations. Although her on-the-edge style can sometimes get her into trouble, she is still very effective with her tackles and her ability to start plays from the back.