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Syracuse men’s soccer set record for most players taken in the MLS SuperDraft

Not a bad cap to the year for the Orange.

NCAA SOCCER: DEC 12 Div 1 Men’s College Cup - Indiana vs Syracuse Photo by Charles Brock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

This has been a memorable year for the Syracuse Orange men’s soccer team. ACC Regular season and tournament championships as well as bringing home the national title to complete the treble is an accomplishment that I don’t think you can overstate. Some of the pieces accomplishing that puzzle are now about to go get paid to do the same thing, as the 2023 MLS SuperDraft is officially the most Orange that it has ever been. The five players selected were the most in program history and along with Nate Opoku, who reportedly turned down a Generation Adidas deal, mark an extremely successful outgoing class heading to the next level.

Abdi Salim - Orlando City - Round 1, Pick 17

Salim leaves the Orange after transferring from his hometown Buffalo State Bengals and cementing himself in that backline that led the Orange to a national title. Abdi’s athleticism and work rate should track well to the next level and Orlando City has a tendency to do alright with Syracuse based centerback talent; see: Miller, Kamal.

Levante Johnson - Vancouver Whitecaps - Round 1, Pick 29

After being a first team All-American selection and the leading scorer on the year for Syracuse, Johnson heads back west to team up with former Syracuse star Ryan Raposo. Both are Syracuse alums and Toronto natives, so to see them team up on the front line for the Whitecaps should be a fun time.

Amferny Sinclair - Real Salt Lake - Round 2, Pick 16

RSL gets some steel in the midfield with Sinclair, the defensive midfielder and clean up crew for the Orange over the past few seasons. Sinclair heads to a team still searching for their next Kyle Beckerman and may see the Costa Rican U-17 international fit that bill.

Russell Shealy - LA Galaxy - Round 2, Pick 23

Galaxy looking to bring the perennial east coaster out west. Shealy is an Atlanta native and former Atlanta FC academy player who went to Maryland then transferred to Cuse. Not sure if the warmer confines will help him out, but he’ll have a good time figuring it out.

Buster Sjoberg - Vancouver - Round 3, Pick 13

All of the Canadian teams seem to love Syracuse talent. Vancouver wins the spot this year, selecting a second Orange in Sjoberg. Standout centerback who could have been starting all year were it not for a poorly timed injury.

Syracuse Orange MLS Draft History

Year Player Team Position Draft Pick Generation Adidas
Year Player Team Position Draft Pick Generation Adidas
2023 Abdi Salim Orlando City SC Defender 17 No
2023 Levonte Johnson Vancouver Whitecaps Forward 29 No
2023 Amferny Sinclair Real Salt Lake Midfield 45 No
2023 Russell Shealy LA Galaxy Goalkeeper 52 No
2023 Buster Sjoberg Vancouver Whitecaps Defender No
2021 Luther Archimede New York Red Bulls Forward 13 No
2021 Sondre Norheim Nashville SC Defender 73 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

As mentioned this is the best draft ever for the Syracuse Orange. Last season was the first that no one was drafted in recent program history, as DeAndre Kerr left, but was a homegrown rather than Generation Adidas and signed with Toronto FC. The 2017 draft had four Orange taken, Miles Robinson, Liam Callahan, Chris Nanco and Oyvind Alseth. The 2015 had three in Alex Bono, Skylar Thomas and Jordan Murrell.

While Toronto FC is the leader, drafting six former Syracuse stars, Johnson and Sjoberg joining Vancouver moves them into second place as the team with the second most Orange drafted. Shealy is the second LA Galaxy pick, with Chris Aloisi being the first back in 2004. Salim is heading to Kamal Miller’s old stomping grounds of Orlando and Sinclair will be treading the path of Jordan Murrell in Salt Lake City.

Best of luck to these Orange in the next level.