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Syracuse men’s soccer prepares for the MLS Superdraft

Over the years, the Orange have been quite well represented

MLS: Combine
Two of the top 2019 MLS draft picks battling it out at the combine.
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The MLS Superdraft is one of the main means for NCAA athletes to make their way into the ranks of Major League Soccer. Over the past two decades, the Syracuse Orange have had a number of selections into the ranks of MLS professionals, especially recently. Tajon Buchanan leads the current crop of Syracuse players, that will be adding to that tally today.

Buchanan, the sophomore forward from Brampton, Ontario, is being touted as high as the first overall pick in the draft, on numerous big boards, including SBNation.com’s mock draft. His biggest competition for the top spot seems to be UCLA midfield maestro Frankie Amaya, the USMNT U-20 player. Matt Doyle from MLS.com has Tajon as the first overall pick as well, noting that he’s heard rumblings that FC Cincinnati has already made the decision.

The standout led the Orange in points and goals this season, notching two braces and a hat trick on the way to eight total goals, along with four assists. Comfortable up top, or playing on the wing, Buchanan brings a bit of pace, trickery and directness to whatever team ends up drafting him. More than willing to make a run in a channel or take a defender on one-on-one, Tajon is a very solid forward prospect who should find his way onto a gameday roster in the near future.

He joins fellow Canadian prospect, Kamal Miller in the draft. The stalwart senior defender has been a huge part of the Syracuse defense over the last four years. The Pickering, Ontario native is looked at as a strong ball-playing center back, who I could see being a late first, early second round pickup for a team needing defensive depth. Ives Galarcep, of SoccerByIves.com has him listed as his 19th overall prospect for the draft. Matt Doyle, noted above, has him as the #24 overall pick, joining Atlanta United and his former teammate and defensive partner, Miles Robinson. A team wouldn’t go wrong taking a flyer on the athletic centerback, who was a two year captain for the Orange.

Also attending the MLS combine this weekend was senior midfielder Hugo Delhommelle. Hugo played last summer for the Seattle Sounders U-23 squad, and will likely get a USL or squad look for an MLS side. His versatility in the midfield, shifting from his preferred playmaking role, to a more defensive role should help him adapt to any systems he is drafted into.

Syracuse Orange MLS Draft History

Year Player Team Position Draft Pick Generation Adidas
Year Player Team Position Draft Pick Generation Adidas
2021 Luther Archimede New York Red Bulls Forward 13 No
2020 Ryan Raposo Vancouver Whitecaps Forward 4 Yes
2020 Nyal Higgins Toronto FC Defender 19 No
2019 Tajon Buchanan New England Revolution Forward 9 Yes
2019 Kamal Miller Orlando City SC Defender 27 No
2018 Mo Adams Chicago Fire Midfield 10 Yes
2017 Miles Robinson Atlanta United Defender 2 Yes
2017 Liam Callahan Colorado Midfield 24 No
2017 Chris Nanco Philadelphia Forward 55 No
2017 Oyvind Alseth Toronto FC Midfield 65 No
2016 Julian Buescher DC United Midfield 11 Yes
2016 Ben Polk Portland Timbers Forward 20 No
2015 Alex Bono Toronto FC Goalkeeper 6 Yes
2015 Skylar Thomas Toronto FC Defender 11 No
2015 Jordan Murrell Real Salt Lake Defender 57 No
2009 Kyle Hall Toronto FC Forward 39 No
2007 Richard Asante Toronto FC Midfield 27 No
2006 Ezra Prendergast Chicago Fire Midfield 34 No
2004 Chris Aloisi LA Galaxy Defender 57 No
1997 Mike Britton Colorado Rapids Defender 23 No
1996 Eric Puls Colorado Rapids Midfield 112 No
1996 Paul Young Columbus Crew Forward 121 No

The Orange have a history in the draft, producing twelve players to date who have been picked up in the draft. The first Syracuse draft pick ever was back in 2004, with Chris Aloisi, drafted 57th overall by the LA Galaxy. The defender parlayed the pick into a three year career in MLS, with LA, the San Jose Earthquakes, and the Houston Dynamo. In 2006, midfielder Ezra Prendergast was selected 34th overall by the Chicago Fire.

Richard Asante, an All-Big East defensive midfielder, was selected 27th overall by Toronto FC in 2007, starting the flood of Syracuse Orange to don the red of TFC over the next decade. He was followed in 2009 by Kyle Hall, a forward, the 39th pick.

In the McIntyre era, Syracuse has produced a drastically increased number of draft picks. Since the 2014-2015 campaign, there have been ten Syracuse draft picks, seven of which were first round selections. The program also has a record five straight Generation Adidas talents in the last five seasons. In 2015, Alex Bono, Skylar Thomas and Jordan Murrell were all drafted, Bono and Thomas, of course, by TFC and Murrel by Real Salt Lake. Julian Buescher went 11th overall to DC United and Ben Polk to the Portland Timbers in 2016. A bumper year in 2017 led to Robinson at Atlanta, Liam Callahan with the Colorado Rapids, Chris Nanco in Philadelphia and Oyvind Alseth north of the border. Mo Adams was the only 2018 draft pick, but went tenth overall to the Chicago Fire.

This afternoon, we’ll see exactly where this year’s Orange land in their future endeavors. We’ll keep you updated as to where and when they go.