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Orange in the Pros: Major League Soccer Preview

Five former Syracuse Orange are plying their trade in MLS. Time to take a look at what their outlook is this year.

MLS: New York City FC at Orlando City SC
Kamal Miller in his first MLS action.
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Lately, the Syracuse Orange men’s soccer team has had an amazing run of players taken in the MLS Superdraft. At present, there are five former players on MLS rosters. In a nice turn of events, it looks like all of them will be in the plans of their clubs this season. Here’s a look at how they are fitting into the squads’ plans in the new year.

Mo Adams - CDM - Chicago Fire

In 2017, Mo Adams decided to endear himself to the Chicago Fire supporters. His tireless workrate and skill in that holding midfield spot made him an instant fan favorite. Last season he garnered 15 appearances with 10 starts for the Fire, and solidified himself in the rotation. Unfortunately for him, he also plays the same position as one Bastian Schweinsteiger. You may have heard of him?

This season, Adams looks to be the second option in at the number six for Chicago. He didn’t feature in the season opener, but should be in the plans moving forward and Schweiny isn’t getting any younger.

Alex Bono - GK - Toronto FC

The Syracuse native became the starter for Toronto FC in 2016, following an injury to then keeper Clint Irwin. As of the 2017 season, he was officially the number one between the sticks. The former All-Everything, Generation Adidas goalkeeper has been the full time starter for the last two seasons, including through the 2017 MLS Cup campaign.

This year, he comes into the season as the definitive number one. He started the season with two saves on the day against the Philadelphia Union, but did concede a penalty, ruining his clean sheet bid.

Tajon Buchanan - FW - New England Revolution

This time last year, we were thinking about how the promising freshman could blossom into a solid striker after watching him in spring season. Now he’s plying his trade for the New England Revolution and made the eighteen in the first match of the year.

Buchanan got high praise from coach Brad Freidel in the preseason, and should get some minutes, primarily on the wing. We’ll see, as he’s quite versatile and can play up top if need be. Overall, good to see the Generation Adidas product getting into the gameday roster. More to come here, I’m sure.

Kamal Miller - CB - Orlando City SC

Miller started his first match for Orlando City. If you’d have asked me last week, I wouldn’t have been sure he would make the senior squad or get loaned to the USL team. He seems to have impressed over the course of the preseason though and put his mark on the game from the left centerback role in OCSC’s three man back line, much like he did for many years under coach Ian McIntyre.

As anyone who has watched Kamal knows, he wasn’t afraid to push forward either, working some give and gos and generally impressing for a rookie playing his first match. I don’t know how much run he’s going to get over the full season, but this was a solid start and he may slot in as a rotational piece to the puzzle.

Miles Robinson - CB - Atlanta United

After being taken as the highest draft pick in Syracuse history, going second overall in the 2017 Superdraft, Robinson has worked his way into the gameday roster and the starting lineup this season. The 2017 campaign, Robinson was primarily a starter on the USL affiliate Charleston Battery. In 2018, a little time was spent with the newly minted Atlanta United II in USL, but he was a bench player for the first team. He made ten appearances, including three starts, most impressively during the ATL playoff push against NYCFC, deputizing for an injured Jeff Larentowicz, in the win.

This season, Robinson has shown in preseason and the Concacaf Champions League opener, that he may have earned his way into a starting spot as the ball playing centerback in Atlanta’s three man back line. We’ll keep an eye on what the young Massachusetts native continues to do moving forward, but this looks like it could be a breakout year for Miles.