It should come as no surprise that one of the greatest strikes in Sporting Kansas City history is up for AT&T MLS Goal of the Week.
Midfielder Gianluca Busio set Children's Mercy Park and the social media world ablaze Saturday night when his 30-yard free kick curled in off the post to spark a thrilling 3-2 comeback win over Houston Dynamo FC, punctuating an emotional return to full capacity at Sporting's world-class stadium.
Fans can vote Busio's long-range stunner for AT&T MLS Goal of the Week at Twitter.com/MLS or in the poll below.
Busio delivered a career performance on Saturday to land himself a spot on the MLS Team of the Week presented by Audi. One day after turning 19 years old, the Sporting KC Academy product had a goal and an assist for the first time in his 56-game regular season career while also completing 72 of 79 passes at a clip of 91.1%. The all-action midfielder also hit game-highs in chances created (three), tackles (three), duels (13) and possessions won (11).
In addition to bagging his otherworldly free kick, Busio tallied what ultimately stood as the match-winning assist in the 65th minute. A flowing counterattack saw the 19-year-old receive a pass from Khiry Shelton near the top of the box, spin and spread a well-weighted ball to Gadi Kinda, whose side-footed finish made the score 3-1 and effectively sealed the victory.
“(Busio) is not only an incredible talent, but he's incredibly mature for his age,” said his manager Peter Vermes. “The things that he's able to pull off on a regular basis, and do it consistently, is incredible.”
“He plays every game better than his last game,” said his teammate Kinda. “I've never seen a 19-year-old play like this. I love to see him play. He's a top-level player.”
Busio and Sporting are off next weekend and will return to action on June 12 when expansion club Austin FC visits Children’s Mercy Park in a 2 p.m. CT kickoff on Univision, Bally Sports Kansas City Plus and Bally Sports Midwest Plus. Tickets for the contest are available at SeatGeek.com as Sporting battles for a fourth successive win.