Kadeisha Buchanan shortlisted for Ballon D'Or award
Canadian emerged at Women's World Cup
Canadian coach John Herdman has long said teenage defender Kadeisha Buchanan had star quality.
On Monday, he was proved right again as the 19-year-old from Brampton, Ont., was one of 10 shortlisted for the 2015 Ballon D'Or, which honours the women's player of the year.
Herdman, meanwhile, is shortlisted for women's world coach of the year for the second time in his career. He was also nominated in 2012, when he finished sixth in voting.
Contenders for the FIFA men's playing and coaching awards will be announced Tuesday.
Buchanan, who plays collegiate soccer at West Virginia, turned heads at the Women's World Cup on home soil this summer when she won the Hyundai Young Player Award and was the lone Canadian on the tournament all-star squad.
Still a teenager, Buchanan already has 40 caps. Tough, physical and fast, she is the anchor in the Canadian defence.
In being shortlisted for the world award, Buchanan follows in the footsteps of Canadian captain Christine Sinclair, long the face of Canadian women's soccer.
Herdman drew that parallel back in May 2014 after Buchanan starred in a 1-1 tie with the U.S.
"I'm not frightened to say it, she's the Sinclair of defenders. She's that good," Herdman said.
"We'll find some areas to keep working on, but she's got the chance to be the best in the world at her position. That's the reality."
The United States, which won the World Cup in July, is the best represented country on the shortlist with the three players: Hope Solo, Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd.
The other candidates are Germany's Celia Sasic and Nadine Angerer, who won the award in 2013; France's Amandine Henry and Eugenie Le Sommer; Japan's Aya Miyama; and Switzerland's Ramona Bachmann.
Brazil's Marta, who won the award every year from 2006 to 2010 and was the runner-up last year, did not make the 2015 shortlist.
Buchanan is a longshot with Lloyd a favourite after her performance at the World Cup where she won the Golden Ball as player of the tournament, the Silver Boot as second-top scorer and was honoured for best goal of the tournament.
Still it's been a bumper year for Buchanan, the lone centre back on the list.
She, Sinclair and Japanese goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihor were showcased on a stamp commemorating Canada hosting the Women's World Cup. And she was destined for inclusion in EA Sports' "FIFA 16" video game until the NCAA objected, saying it might affect her collegiate eligibility.
Her teammates were quick to send congratulations on the honour of making the shortlist.
"One of many to come in her career," said goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc.
"It's only the beginning," echoed midfielder Sophie Schmidt.
Buchanan is the third Canadian women to be shortlisted, joining Charmaine Hooper (2004) and Sinclair (2005-08, 2010 and 2012-13).
Sinclair has been a candidate seven times. Only Marta (10) and American Abby Wambach (8) have been shortlisted more often.
Sinclair finished fifth in the overall voting in 2012, when she won the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award as Canadian Press athlete of the year.
The three finalists in both the player and coaching categories will be announced Nov. 20 with the winners to be revealed at a gala in Zurich on Jan. 11.
- Nadine Angerer (Germany/Brisbane Roar/Portland Thorns)
- Ramona Bachmann (Switzerland/FC Rosengard)
- Kadeisha Buchanan (Canada/West Virginia University)
- Amandine Henry (France/Olympique Lyonnais)
- Eugenie Le Sommer (France/Olympique Lyonnais)
- Carli Lloyd (U.S./Houston Dash)
- Aya Miyama (Japan/Okayama Yunogo Belle)
- Megan Rapinoe (U.S./Seattle Reign)
- Celia Sasic (Germany/1.FFC Frankfurt)
- Hope Solo (U.S./Seattle Reign)
- Calle Barrling (Sweden/Swedish U-19 national team)
- Colin Bell (England/1.FFC Frankfurt)
- Farid Benstiti (France/Paris Saint-Germain)
- Jill Ellis (USA/USA national team)
- Laura Harvey (England/Seattle Reign)
- John Herdman (England/Canada)
- Gerard Precheur (France/Olympique Lyonnais)
- Mark Sampson (Wales/English national team)
- Norio Sasaki (Japan/Japanese national team)
- Thomas Worle (Germany/FC Bayern Munich)
With files from The Canadian Press