This was the summer of Syracuse Orange soccer, on the international stage. Alumnus Miles Robinson ultimately ended the summer on top, scoring the game winning goal and lifting the Gold Cup trophy as the United States men’s national team won 1-0 against archrivals Mexico in the finals. An impressive tournament has put the former Orange standout in top contention for a spot on the World Cup Qualifying roster and helped the US to their seventh Gold Cup title.
Throughout the game, Robinson continued his impressive performance, seemingly winning anything that came to him in the air, as well as cleaning up on the ground. He also carried a few balls out of the back to start a counter and give the USMNT a few scoring chances. While his distribution may not be his strength, the rest of his game is more than making up for it. He looked like he was back wearing Orange while having a magnet on his head for where the ball was going.
Robinson started the tournament paired with Walker Zimmerman, the veteran MLS centerback, but was thrust into the “veteran” role himself when Zimmerman went down with injury. He was able to put in impressive shifts in both a pairing and a back three, depending on what coach Gregg Berhalter trotted out, showing his versatility. The last three matches, as a more traditional centerback, he was paired with James Sands, who, while talented was playing out of position from his normal defensive midfield. The pairing made the most of it and held opponents to a total of one goal through the tournament, scored by Martinique’s Emmanuel Rivière, in a match the US won by five goals.
At various points it was looking like the Gold Cup final may have been Orange against Orange, with the Canadian squad losing narrowly to the Mexican side in the semifinals. Former Orange Tajon Buchanan and Kamal Miller both started the affair, continuing the trend of Syracuse being Canada’s college soccer team. Buchanan finished the only Canadian goal of the night, cutting back from the wing and finishing from a real tough angle. Buchanan is now garnering some serious interest from European clubs after a dazzling international debut that won him Best Young Player of the Tournament honors.
Miles got the best of the prior matchup of former team mates in the group stage, as the US defeated Canada 1-0 on a Shaq Moore goal, pretty well as soon as the opening whistle blew. Buchanan joined Syracuse the year after Robinson was drafted. Both played on the squad with Miller. Overall a very impressive outing from the former Orange in this years iteration of the Gold Cup. This likely won’t be the last we hear about these three players moving forward. Congratulations to Robinson and the US team for lifting the trophy.