When the MLS Superdraft occurred, there was little doubt that the Syracuse Orange be losing goalkeeper Alex Bono to a Generation Adidas contract. He was the best keeper in the nation, had the skills and composure to play on the next level and he'd been a stalwart in net from his freshman season.
What wasn't anticipated was the exodus that seems to have followed. Per the Daily Orange, there have been five other players with eligibility remaining that have taken leave from the team following Bono. It will be interesting to look at how this will affect the remaining squad and whether the incoming freshman can bridge the gaps (I'll be commenting more to that later on in the week).
Rising senior Stefanos Stamoulacatos, local product from Camillus and solid central midfielder, has decided to forgo his senior season and sign a contract with Greek squad Iraklis Thessaloniki FC. I'm assuming you don't speak or read Greek, so here's their Wikipedia page. The club has quite the interesting history and it's worth a read. They currently play in the second division of Greek football, finishing fourth last year.
Rising junior Emil Ekblom, the Orange's top scorer on the last year, is supposedly heading back to his native Norway to look to sign on with a professional club as well.
Our international contingent was lessened further by Alex Halis, the Canadian #10, who left for parts unknown at this juncture, as well as Brad Willis, who confirmed a transfer but didn't say where to. Matt Schniedman over at DO noted the following...
Halis hasn’t indicated his future plans but did confirm he left the team via Twitter direct message on Saturday morning. Willis confirmed the same via Facebook message, and indicated that he’ll transfer to play soccer at another school that is to be determined.
This is mildly surprising as both would have gained some playing time between graduations and the departure of Ekblom and Tyler Hilliard. Halis could have slotted in alongside fellow Canadian Chris Nanco, or stayed deeper in the playmaker role. Willis had some openings to slot into along the back line with the graduations as well.
Graduated senior Tyler Hilliard is also noted as transferring to Duke for his last year of eligibility. Hilliard would have been an incumbent starter.
To tally this up, of the starting lineup from the NCAA Sweet 16 match with Georgetown, Syracuse has lost their starting goalkeeper, all three defenders, a midfielder and a forward, along with two of the substitutes. Among those players were their leading goalscorer in Ekblom and their leading assist man in Murrell.