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MLS is Back 2022: Syracuse Edition

Six in the league and one moved on the Europe. Seems a good year for the former Orange.

SOCCER: JUN 27 MLS - New York Red Bulls at Atlanta United FC Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Coach Ian McIntyre and the Syracuse Orange men’s soccer program have been an absolute consistent machine when it comes to putting their players into the professional ranks. Those ranks have been primarily within Major League Soccer, which is returning for it’s 26th season as the top flight soccer league in the United States. In those 26 years, the quality of the footy being played has improved to the point that the league is noted as the 17th best league in the world, climbing into the tier of longstanding products like the Scottish Premiership, Turkish SuperLig and Argentina’s Premiera Division.

Until this year Coach Mac had a streak of seven straight years with a first round pick in the MLS Superdraft. Unfortunately this year that streak came to an end, but not without a player from the program heading to the league. While MLS All-Star and former Orange Tajon Bucahanan is heading to Belgium, signing with Club Brugge on a $7m transfer fee from the New England Revolution, there’s still plenty of talent within the league from the program.

Deandre Kerr - Toronto FC - Class of 2024

All-ACC first team standout forward Deandre Kerr has moved to the league as a homegrown player. In lieu of the draft, and the Generation Adidas process, Kerr was a former Toronto FC academy prospect and as such, could be signed on a homegrown player deal. He’s coming off a huge season in Orange, with nine goals and three assists in thirteen matches in 2021 and earning All-Freshman honors in 2020 with four goals in the odd twelve match season. He’s also a member of the Canadian youth setups and could eventually team up with some other Orange while wearing red. He looks to be working with the senior team at this point so that’s promising. He may spend some time at TFC II this year getting run in the USL Championship, but opens the year against Dallas, Saturday at 5:30pm on ESPN+.

Canada v New Zealand - FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019 Photo by Buda Mendes - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

Alex Bono - Toronto FC - Class of 2015

The elder MLS Statesman, Alex has been at TFC for seven years now, starting as the first Syracuse player taken in the first round of the MLS draft, the beginning of Mac’s streak. Bono has been a starting keeper or backup in Toronto for years and is back in the starting role as of last season. With new coach Bob Bradley taking over the squad, it’s unknown if Bono or Quentin Westberg are going to be the number one this season, but the veteran will make the most of that position battle and we’ll see when the season opens against Dallas, Saturday at 5:30pm on ESPN+.

Miles Robinson - Atlanta United - Class of 2019

Miles has played his way into recognition as one of the best centerbacks in the league and has gotten looks to move to Europe, but remains with the five-stripes for another season helming the backline. He’s also become a mainstay of the US Men’s National Team and has been starting for them throughout World Cup Qualifying. Atlanta opens the year against Kansas City at 3pm on Sunday, airing on FS1 or ESPN+.

Kamal Miller - CF Montreal - Class of 2020

Utilitarian defender who can carry the ball well and is solid in defense? That’s what Miller was for the Orange, playing in a back three. Professionally he’s moved to fullback and then back to left centerback is starting for CF Montreal and the Canadian Men’s National Team. Overall a fun player to watch and will be opening his account this year on Sunday at 1pm against his former team, Orlando. Montreal and Miller are coming off their 3-1 aggregate CONCACAF Champions League win, taking home this week against Liga MX side Santos Laguna.

Toronto FC v CF Montreal: 2021 Canadian Championship Final Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

Mo Adams - Inter Miami CF - Class of 2020

A new year, a new team for Adams, who was traded to Miami after playing the last few seasons with Miles in Atlanta. It’s a bit of an unknown how Adams will fit in the side but his versatility should help him find the pitch this season as either a defensive midfielder or a defender. He kicks off the year Saturday at 6pm ET on ESPN+ against the newly rebranded Chicago Fire.

Ryan Raposo - Vancouver Whitecaps - Class of 2022

The electric Raposo found a bit of a niche as a super sub for Vancouver over the past few years. He’ll have to see if he keeps coming on late to run at tired legs or gets more of a run in the starting lineup this year for the Whitecaps. They kick off their season Saturday at 3:30pm ET against the Columbus Crew on ESPN+.