Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadian Defender Kadeisha Buchanan Makes Her Mark on World Soccer Stage

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadian Defender Kadeisha Buchanan Makes Her Mark on World Soccer Stage

Article excerpt

Buchanan returns for rare home showcase

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Having earned a new contract with European powerhouse Olympique Lyonnais, Kadeisha Buchanan gets a rare showcase at home Sunday.

The 22-year-old from Brampton, Ont., considered one of the elite centre backs in women's world soccer, should earn her 77th cap as fourth-ranked Canada hosts No. 3 Germany in an international friendly at Tim Hortons Field.

The world really is Buchanan's oyster these days. Prior to returning to Canada, she and her Lyon teammates partied in Saint-Tropez on the French Riviera -- celebrating a season that saw them win their 12th straight French league title and third consecutive Women's Champions League title.

Canada coach Kenneth Heiner-Moller, who will be making his home coaching debut Sunday, visited Lyon in April to get an update from Buchanan's club coaches.

"There's no doubt that she's maturing in the game," said the Dane, who took over the Canadian women in January when John Herdman switched to run the men's program.

"What Kadeisha has always been great at is defending and being very aggressive in her defending. I think what she's improving upon is how she's seeing the game from that position."

Heiner-Moller calls Buchanan a smart, intellectual player whose experience in Europe is helping polish her considerable potential. She also is adding to her offensive tools.

Considering Lyon outscored its opposition 104-5 in 22 league games this season (when the team went 21-0-1) and 103-6 last season (22-1-0), defence does not seem an issue.

"Going to a club like Lyon, you could as a (national team) coach be a little concerned," said Heiner-Moller. "They're not defending that much so how does that affect her defending skills? In the national team, I haven't seen any decrease in her performance. She's been improving the last couple of years and I definitely don't think she's reached her peak yet."

Buchanan, who arrived in Lyon in January 2017 after a distinguished collegiate career at West Virginia, has played alongside captain Wendie Renard or Griedge Mbock.

She is now signed with the team through 2022.

"Lyon is a top club. The setup and atmosphere is what's best for me at this moment," said Buchanan. …

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