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MLS is Back: Syracuse men’s soccer edition

There’s a few former Orange suiting up in the first sport played in a bubble.

MLS: New York Red Bulls at Atlanta United FC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve been without live sports for what seems like an eternity. There was a bit of a reprieve last week for Syracuse Orange fans and the Boeheim’s Army games, but none of the major leagues in the United States had attempted a return. Well wait no more, Major League Soccer is back and sporting some Orange this season.

The return of MLS is predicated on similar terms to what the NBA is doing. The 2020 season was about two games in when the COVID-caused shutdown occurred. To get back to it, MLS is creating an isolated “bubble” on the Disney campus in Florida and running a World Cup style tournament in the middle of what would have been their season. The idea is to get things moving again with the tournament, in lieu of another preseason. As such, it’s probably not a bad thing you missed the first round of matches.

If you’re looking to scratch your live sports itch, here’s a little Orange tinted primer for Syracuse-associated teams.

Miles Robinson - CB / Mo Adams - CDM - Atlanta United

Atlanta United likes to hoard all the Syracuse talent. The squad contains two top-10 draft picks from the Orange in Miles Robinson (2017, #2) and Mo Adams (2018, #10). Robinson is a standout central defender for Atlanta and has solidified himself into the role with the five stripes. He’s also gotten some run with the US National Team. Adams, a defensive midfielder, also started and played ninety in the first tournament match, a loss to the New York Red Bulls. Atlanta (0-1-0) has upcoming matches on July 16th against FC Cincinnati and July 21st against the Columbus Crew.

Kamal Miller - CB - Orlando City SC

Kamal played his way onto the Orlando City roster last season after being chosen in the 2019 MLS Superdraft second round. The defender has worked his way into sixteen shifts in 2019 at either centerback or one of the fullback positions for the home town squad, and can hold his own with anyone, while also being able to range forward. He also features for the Canadian National Team. He wasn’t on the gameday 18 for the first two matches of the tournament. OCSC (2-0-0) finish out their group stage against the Philadelphia Union on Monday evening at 8pm.

Tajon Buchanan - F - New England Revolution

Buchanan joined the Revs in 2019 after a Top-10 Superdraft pick by the club. He got sparing minutes last season, but got run in the first match of the tournament, coming on in the 86th minute, replacing Christian Penilla and playing wide. The forward can play as a nine or out wide and is versatile in the attack for New England. The Revs’ (1-0-0) remaining games are July 17th against DC United and Tuesday the 21st against Alex Bono and Toronto FC.

Alex Bono - GK - Toronto FC

The veteran of the group, Bono is still with Toronto FC. He is currently the backup goalkeeper and is awaiting his shot to start again. TFC continued the tournament against the Montreal Impact and assistant coach, former Orange Patrice Bergeron on July 16th. Currently 0-0-1, they finish the preseason on July 21st in the aforementioned match against the Revs and Tajon Buchanan.

Ryan Raposo - F/W - Vancouver Whitecaps

Vancouver hasn’t played yet, so Raposo hasn’t been seen. He did come on in the Whitecaps match against the LA Galaxy earlier in the year, but should be in the gameday squad. The exciting winger became a player to watch for the Whitecaps in the first preseason. Vancouver (0-0-0) plays July 15th against the San Jose Earthquakes, Sunday July 18th against the Seattle Sounders and July 23rd against the Chicago Fire.