It’s easy to forget that Canadian centre back Kadeisha Buchanan is months away from her 20th birthday. She’s was named the top young player at the Women’s World Cup, and her name is an automatic to appear in the Canadian starting XI.
But, in Friday night’s Pan Am Games bronze-medal match, we were reminded that she still has a lot to learn.
We were reminded that, despite all of her talent, she’s been rushed into a national team that has very little depth on the back line. In Canada’s 2-1 loss to Mexico, Buchanan endured maybe the worst half she’s played, like, ever, for Canada.
She was taken out of the game at halftime. It could have been an injury, could have been tactical. The reasons weren’t given. But, let’s be clear — if the reason was strictly based on performance, she earned her spot on the bench. Her first half was a reminder that no player can get by on talent alone. It was a lesson that speed and strength can only get you so far — a defender also has to make the right choices.
Early in the match, keeper Stephanie Labbe bailed her out. She was defending a two-on-two break with fellow defender Rebecca Quinn. But, for some reason, Buchanan decided to leave her mark, Mexican striker Monica Ocampo. Buchanan was overly aggressive, and got caught in-between when she decided to try and step up to help out Quinn rather than stay at home. Of course, the ball went to Ocampo, now left wide open in the box, and Labbe did well to make the save.
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