Sporting Kansas City midfielder Gianluca Busio was named to the MLSsoccer.com Team of the Week bench today after leading his team to a 1-1 draw against Orlando City SC in an exciting Children's Mercy Park home opener on Friday night.
Busio made his mark on the stroke of halftime, settling a pass from fellow Sporting KC Academy product Daniel Salloi and expertly firing low inside the near post for his first goal of the 2021 campaign and the sixth of his blossoming MLS career.
The well-taken goal punctuated Busio's 50th career regular season appearance for Sporting on Friday night. Impressively enough, he is only the seventh player in MLS history to reach 50 regular season appearances before his 19th birthday. Among the seven who have done so, he is one of five who have recorded at least six goals and five assists in those first 50 matches.
YOUNGEST PLAYERS TO HIT 50 MLS APPEARANCES
(REGULAR SEASON, ALL-TIME)
|Player||Club||Age||G + A in first 50 games|
|Freddy Adu||DC||16 years, 100 days||8 goals, 8 assists|
|Alphonso Davies||VAN||17 years, 219 days||2 goals, 8 assists|
|Andy Najar||DC||18 years, 189 days||8 goals, 6 assists|
|Diego Fagundez||NE||18 years, 206 days||14 goals, 9 assists|
|Eddie Gaven||RBNY||18 years, 218 days||12 goals, 10 assists|
|Luis Gil||RSL||18 years, 313 days||3 goals, 3 assists|
|Gianluca Busio||SKC||18 years, 330 days||6 goals, 5 assists|
Busio rightly earned the headlines for his goal, but his overall work rate should not go overlooked. The U.S. youth international has taken part in 38 duels through the first two weeks of the 2021 MLS campaign. Since the dawn of the Opta era in 2010, that's the second-most duels by a Sporting player after Week 2 of the regular season.
MOST DUELS THROUGH WEEK 2 OF MLS SEASON
(SPORTING KC, SINCE 2010)
Busio and Sporting (1-0-1, 4 points) will put their unbeaten start to 2021 on the line Saturday when they visit rivals Real Salt Lake (1-0-0, 3 points) at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. Saturday's Western Conference clash is slated for 1 p.m. CT with three hours of live coverage beginning at 12:30 p.m. CT on Bally Sports Kansas City Plus, Bally Sports Midwest Plus, the Bally Sports app and BallySports.com. Local radio broadcasts will also air on ESPN 94.5 FM and La Grande 1340 AM, with The Final Whistle postgame show immediately following the match on 810 WHB.