Empire United graduate Alex Bono, a product of Empire United's Development Academy program, signed a professional contract this week with Major League Soccer. Bono, a junior at Syracuse University and First Team All-American, became the fifth player this year to sign a Generation Adidas contract. Generation Adidas contracts are offered specifically to underclassmen and are guaranteed for two years, and also include a scholarship component for players to continue their college education should they choose to do so. Bono is also one of three finalists for the MAC Hermann Award, given annually to the National Player of the Year.
During his youth career with Empire United, Bono led his Dev Academy teams to a first place finish and the Academy playoffs in each of his years in the program. In 2011-12, Bono was in the US Soccer Development Acadamy Eastern Conference Starting XI, as the top goalkeeper in the Conference. Following his performances in 2011-12, Bono was invited into the U18 National Team Camp in California in the Summer of 2012.
Bono becomes the second Empire United product to sign with MLS in the past year, as Jordan Allen signed with Real Salt Lake in December 2013.
Story below from Cuse.com
Men's Soccer | 1/8/2015 12:40:00 PM |
Bono Agrees to Generation adidas Deal with MLS
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Syracuse goalie Alex Bono has accepted a Generation adidas contract offer from Major League Soccer (MLS). Bono will forgo his final year of college eligibility and enter the 2015 MLS SuperDraft, which is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 15 in Philadelphia.
"I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to pursue my dream of playing professional soccer," Bono said. "I can't thank my Syracuse coaches, teammates and the Orange soccer community enough for their support. It's been a fantastic three years and I take with me a lot of great memories and friendships that will last a lifetime."
"Everyone associated with our program is very excited for Alex as he takes this first step in his pro career," Orange head coach Ian McIntyre
said. "He has been an integral part of our team since he arrived in 2012 and has excelled here both on and off the soccer field. I know that he will continue to represent Syracuse University with tremendous class and integrity as he embraces the challenges that lay ahead."
Bono leaves Syracuse as one of the most accomplished players in team history. He posted a 39-17-3 record in 59 starts from 2012-14 and led the Orange to two NCAA Tournament appearances. Bono ranks in the top 10 in every career goalkeeping category at Syracuse and he is the program's career leader in goals-against average (0.80). He also ranks second in career shutouts (30), wins (39) and is fifth in save percentage (.811).
In 2014, Bono put together the best season ever for a Syracuse keeper. He set the school single-season records for goals-against average (0.55), shutouts (12) and minutes played (1,949) to lead the Orange to a share of the ACC Atlantic Division title and an appearance in the NCAA's Round of 16. For his efforts, Bono was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year, a first-team NSCAA All-American, and he is one of three finalists for the MAC Hermann Trophy as the national player of the year.
A joint venture between MLS and U.S. Soccer, the Generation adidas program aims to raise the level of soccer talent in the United States. Contracts are offered specifically to underclassmen and are guaranteed for two years. They also include a scholarship component for players to continue their college education should they choose to do so.
Bono is one of five players to agree to a Generation adidas deal this year, joining Connecticut's Cyle Larin, Washington's Cristian Roldan, Central Florida's Romario Williams and NC State's Conor Donovan.