CHICAGO -- While his MLS career has just begun, Friday marked the conclusion of an incredible journey for Tajon Buchanan.
Buchanan, 19, was drafted by the New England Revolution with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft, his face beaming as he walked to the stage at McCormick Place in Chicago to be greeted by Commissioner Don Garber and a Revolution jersey with ‘Buchanan’ printed across the back.
“To me, this means hard work pays off,” Buchanan, a Generation adidas signing who typically plays as a striker, said after his selection. “When you go through those dark times, wanting to quit or just go back home, it all pays off now that I’m here and everything worked out.”
There was no shortage of difficult moments in recent years for Buchanan, who moved away from his mother and siblings in Brampton, Ontario to pursue his dream of becoming a professional soccer player in the United States.
That dream faced several setbacks, including being ruled ineligible for a year while a member of Development Academy team Real Colorado because he moved away from his family.
Nevertheless, Buchanan pressed on and paid his way to a showcase at Syracuse, which resulted in him being offered a scholarship before he began his junior year of high school.
Despite his distance from home and his family throughout his journey, Buchanan said he still owes them so much for his success.
“My family, my friends, always talking with them and them supporting me throughout it all, they’re the ones that kept me going,” he said.
Buchanan would go on to star for the Orange and was selected this past season as a first team All-ACC selection, drawing the attention of MLS teams.
“I just took a lot of different routes, but I’m extremely thankful and just really excited and humbled right now,” Buchanan said.
Still processing the emotions of all that draft day means for him, Buchanan said he’s looking forward to beginning the process of meeting his new teammates, coaches and fans in New England. However, for now, he said he isn’t worried too much about the details and simply wanted to savor the moment.
“Honestly, I would have been extremely happy to go anywhere,” he said. “To hear my name called was a relief and a dream come true.”