FOXBORO — Goal No. 1 took more than one season for Tajon Buchanan in a New England Revolution uniform.
Now the former first-round draft pick out of Syracuse wants more.
“I’ve been working hard in training and I’ve been working hard to get my chances to come in the game,” Buchanan said after scoring New England’s lone goal in a 2-1 loss at Philadelphia Saturday. “It’s been a little tough, a little bumpy road along the way this season. But just having support from my coaches and them giving me the confidence to keep going at players has helped a lot.”
Buchanan scored the tying tally with a right-footed blast for New England in the 81st minute of the match. He created a team-high two shots on goal during 31 minutes of duty.
“I finally was happy to reward the team by getting a goal, but we came up short and dropped points so that’s a bummer,” Buchanan said.
Buchanan has appeared in all 11 MLS matches for New England thus far, with four stating assignments. He would like to add a second career goal and help the Revolution take three points in New England’s rematch Saturday afternoon at Gillette Stadium against New York City FC.
Buchanan and the Revolution (3-3-5, 14 points) have a full week to rest and regroup for NYCFC after playing six matches in a little more than three weeks.
“I think it’s going to be huge,” Buchahan said. “We’ve been playing a lot of games in a short amount of time so it’s going to be good to get our better players rested and just get back on training fields when the time comes and get ready to play.”
A native of Ontario, Buchanan attended Syracuse University and made 12 appearances with the Revolution as a rookie. He was one of seven players to ink a Generation Adidas contract prior to the 2019 MLS Draft and was selected ninth overall.
With the Orange, Buchanan appeared in 33 matches, scoring 12 goals — eight coming during his sophomore year at Syracuse as a first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection.
Earlier this season for New England, Buchahan had a golden scoring chance against Montreal, but missed its mark.
“Honestly, that happens in games sometimes, you miss chances,” he said. “Back in Montreal, it was unlucky and it hurt for a few weeks but that was in the back of my head.
“I just brushed that to the side, keep moving forward, and when you score that first goal then all that is put behind you.”
New England coach Bruce Arena believes in Buchanan and rewards him with minutes, knowing that his potential will be a prime factor in the team’s future success.
“That (missed shot) was in February., we could care less about that at this point,” Arena said in his behalf. “He came in and did his job. We needed a good 20, 25 minutes out of him, and he did a real good job in a game that’s difficult, obviously, playing with 10 players. I think the combination play with him and (Gustavo) Bou was outstanding to get the goal.”
The 21-year-old Buchanan is swift-footed to compensate for his 155-pound frame. Having worked with Bou for nearly two seasons now, the addition of former Revolution midfielder Lee Nguyen could spell more productive moments for him.
“Lee (Nguyen) and Gustavo (Boy) are both excellent players,” Buchanan said. “Their passing and moving off the ball is tops in this league and it makes things a lot easier when I’m making those runs forward. I was able to link up with Gustavo on my goal and he laid an excellent ball through and I was able to finish so I’m happy.
“”We came to (Philadelphia) to get a result whether that was a point or three points,” Buchanan added. “It’s nice to score your first goal in MLS, but we came up short. We gave up a tough goal in the last minute of the game. It was kind of unlucky, but we just got to regroup and keep moving forward. But I’m really happy to score my first goal, it was a relief.”