Okay, so that may be getting a little bit ahead of myself, but massive news came down today for the Syracuse men’s soccer team in general and goalkeeper Alex Bono in particular. Bono, a native of Baldwinsville, got the call from USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann to join the team at training camp. Bono is one of 28 players invited, and one of just four goalkeepers.
Bono, who earlier this week announced his intention to become a Generation Adidas player and enter the Major League Soccer draft – the first SU soccer player to ever turn pro early – will be competing with Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire/MLS), Jon Kempin (Sporting Kansas City/MLS), and Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake/MLS). The name that’s notable in its absence is Tim Howard, of course. Howard is currently injured, but the goalkeeper who took the world by storm during the 2014 World Cup has also been struggling mightily with his EPL club, Everton.
But that’s beside the point, because it simply cannot be overstated how massive this is for Syracuse and Bono. Syracuse had its best season in program history in 2014, and this is just continuing to not just place the program on the map, but also to keep it there.
Bono started 59 matches in his three seasons at Syracuse, posting a 39-17-3 record, and he owns an incredible 0.8 goals-against-average for his career. Whether Bono can earn any caps remains to be seen, but he’s got every chance to catch the eye of Klinsmann with his performance at training camp. Camp will run from January 12-February 8 in Carson, California. This invite also puts Bono in a prime position to earn a spot on the USA roster for the 2016 Olympic side.
Bono’s week could get even better, as he’s currently in St. Louis to find out if he’s the 2014 winner of the MAC Hermann Trophy winner as the best NCAA Division I men’s soccer player of the year. Bono is one of three finalists for the award.