Men's Soccer

Asante tears ACL, likely out for full 2013 season

Ilana Dunn | Contributing Photographer

Forward Tony Asante was one of Syracuse's main offensive threats last season, ranking second in goals (5) and third in points (14).

Syracuse forward Tony Asante tore his left anterior cruciate ligament and will likely miss the entire 2013 season.

Asante said he tore the ligament playing in a summer league in New Jersey two weeks ago and will have surgery in the upcoming weeks. He told The Daily Orange the news Thursday with a forlorn expression on his face, stopping to chat in the Manley Field House parking lot. Syracuse head coach Ian McIntyre confirmed the injury on the phone Thursday night.

“Tony’s an important part of what we’re doing,” McIntyre said, “and he’s coming off a good spring and good summer.”

McIntyre said he’ll look into who will replace Asante in the starting lineup over the next few weeks. For now, though, he said his main responsibility is to take care of Asante and help him recover.

“Basically we’ll just let the swelling go down,” McIntyre said, “we’ll see the docs, and then we’ll get him all squared away so he can start his recovery.”

That recovery could take quite some time. The average torn ACL healing time is close to a year. If all goes according to plan for Asante, he’ll get another year of eligibility and enter his senior season in 2014.

Originally from Ghana, Asante joined the Orange in 2012 after playing with Monroe College for two years. Last season he tied for third on the team in points (14) and finished second in goals (5) as the Orange flew from the Big East cellar to its best season in school history.

Asante had two three-point games as Syracuse advanced to the Sweet 16 before falling to Georgetown in penalty kicks. The Orange finished the season ranked No. 17 in the country, thanks in large part to Asante.

His natural goal-scoring ability was evident early on, when he ripped off a streak of four games in a row with a goal. Asante’s shiftiness around the net and ability to outwit the goalie helped ignite the Orange.

He thrived off Ted Cribley and Louis Clark’s passes and was extremely crafty inside the box.

The loss means McIntyre’s missing yet another critical player in his lineup from a year ago. After Clark, Cribley and Lars Muller graduated and leading scorer Jordan Vale transferred to UCLA, Asante’s injury places the Orange in an even more difficult situation.

Despite those losses, though, Syracuse still looks poised for another stellar season in its first year in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Midfielder/forward Alex Halis and midfielder Mike Koegel highlight one of the best recruiting classes in SU history. The Orange also returns star goalkeeper Alex Bono, midfielders Stefanos Stamoulacatos and Nick Perea and defenders Jordan Murrell and Skylar Thomas, among others.

While McIntyre said Asante is a big loss, he’s confident his team will be able to move forward and thrive.

“He’ll certainly be missed,” McIntyre said, “but it will now give someone else an opportunity to step up and contribute.”

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