Canadian international Tajon Buchanan's remarkable rise continued Wednesday when he was named an MLS all-star.
The 22-year-old winger from Brampton, Ont., who plays for the New England Revolution, was one of two picks by commissioner Don Garber for the Aug. 25 all-star game against a Mexican league all-star side at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles. The other commissioner's pick was 17-year-old Cade Cowell, a forward with the San Jose Earthquakes.
The all-star roster was determined through a combination of fan, player and media voting (selecting 13 players), picks by all-star coach Bob Bradley (13 players) and the commissioner's picks.
The all-star honour for Buchanan comes on the heels of a breakthrough performance for Canada at the Gold Cup, where the young Canadian won the Youth Player Awards and was named to the CONCACAF championship Best XI.
Buchanan, in his third season with New England, has recorded three goals and three assists in 12 appearances for New England this season. Internationally, he has one goal and four assists in nine appearances at the senior level for Canada. His goal came in Canada's 2-1 semifinal loss to Mexico.
"Give him another year and get him hopefully into the Bundesliga or into the Premier League, because that's where this kid's destined," Canada coach John Herdman said after the Mexico game. "He'll build that quality, that durability at the top, top level."
Herdman deployed Buchanan both as a wingback and up front as an attacker, to use his speed and dribbling ability, during the Gold Cup
Buchanan, who appeared in all 23 games during the 2020 regular season, turned heads in the playoffs when he started all four of the Revs' games and scored the winning goal against Philadelphia in the quarterfinals. He has also served as a fullback for New England.
Cowell was the first player to register four goals and four assists at the start of the 2021 season.
Of the 28 players named, 24 are first-time MLS all-stars.
The Seattle Sounders, who top the West, have the most players on the roster with six, including brothers Cristian and Alex Roldan.
Buchanan will be joined at the all-star game by New England teammates Carles Gil, Gustavo Bou and Matt Turner. The three Canadian teams will not be represented.
The 28-player roster features talent from Argentina, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, El Salvador, Hungary, Mexico, Peru, Spain, Uruguay and the United States.
MLS All-Star Roster (with team and country, x- denotes voted in, c- denotes commissioner picks, the rest chosen by all-star coach Bob Bradley)
Goalkeepers: x-Pedro Gallese, Orlando City SC (Peru); Matt Turner, New England Revolution (U.S.).
Defenders: Julian Araujo, L.A. Galaxy (U.S.); Jesus Murillo, Los Angeles FC (Colombia); x-Nouhou Tolo, Seattle Sounders (Cameroon); Miles Robinson, Atlanta United (U.S.); x-Alex Roldan, Seattle Sounders (El Salvador and U.S.); James Sands, NYCFC (U.S.); Kai Wagner, Philadelphia Union (U.S); x-Yeimar Gomez Andrade, Seattle Sounders (Colombia); x-Walker Zimmerman, Nashville SC (U.S.).
Midfielders: Eduard Atuesta, Los Angeles FC (Colombia); x-Carles Gil, New England Revolution (Spain); Damir Kreilach, Real Salt Lake (Croatia); x-Joao Paulo, Seattle Sounders (Brazil); Emanuel Reynoso, Minnesota United FC (Argentina); x-Cristian Roldan, Seattle Sounders (U.S.); x-Lucas Zelarayan, Columbus Crew (Argentina).
Forwards/Wingers: Gustavo Bou, New England Revolution (Argentina); c-Tajon Buchanan, New England Revolution (Canada); c-Cade Cowell, San Jose Earthquakes (U.S.); x-Javier (Chicharito) Hernandez, L.A. Galaxy (Mexico); x-Nani, Orlando City SC (Portugal); Ricardo Pepi, FC Dallas |(U.S.); Diego Rossi, Los Angeles FC (Uruguay); x-Raul Ruidiaz, Seattle Sounders (Peru); Daniel Salloi, Sporting Kansas City (Hungary); x-Carlos Vela, Los Angeles FC (Mexico).
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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 4, 2021