Gold Cup Preview: Gianluca Busio and USA to meet Martinique on Thursday in KC

United States vs. Martinique
2021 Concacaf Gold Cup | Group B
Thursday, July 15, 2021 | 9 p.m. CT
Children’s Mercy Park | Kansas City, Kansas

Broadcast Schedule:
English | FS1
Spanish | UniMas, TUDN
Streaming | FOX Sports app, TUDN app

After a stellar debut for the United States Men's National Team on Sunday at Children's Mercy Park, Sporting Kansas City midfielder Gianluca Busio is in contention for his first U.S. MNT start as the Americans return to the world-class stadium for a Concacaf Gold Cup Group B showdown with Martinique on Thursday night.

Kickoff is slated for 9 p.m. CT, serving as the second-game of a Group B doubleheader that begins with Canada versus Haiti at 6:30 p.m. CT. Tickets gaining entry to both matches are available for as low as $33 on

Busio entered as a 62nd-minute substitute on Sunday and helped the United States to a 1-0 victory over Haiti in their first fixture of the tournament. The 19-year-old midfielder is the youngest player in head coach Gregg Berhalter's 23-man squad but showed poise beyond his years in an impressive cameo from off the bench, completing 28 of 31 passes and nearly scoring a spectacular long-range goal in the 76th minute. The contest was decided in the eighth minute when defender Sam Vines headed home his first international goal on an assist from Gyasi Zardes.

USA Schedule: 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup (Group B) at Children’s Mercy Park

  • Sunday, July 11 vs. Haiti (Won 1-0)
  • Thursday, July 15 vs. Martinique (9 p.m. CT | FS1, FOX Sports app | TICKETS)
  • Sunday, July 18 vs. Canada (4 p.m. CT | FOX, FOX Sports app | TICKETS)

Selected to the senior national team for the first time, Busio is the second-youngest player and one of only seven teenagers to be selected to a Gold Cup roster in U.S. history. On Sunday, he became the first Sporting player to represent the U.S. since Ike Opara in 2018 and the first to feature in a Gold Cup match since Matt Besler and Graham Zusi led the Yanks to championship glory with a 2017 final win over Jamaica.

The U.S. currently occupies second place in Group B after Canada logged an impressive 4-1 triumph over Martinique on Sunday afternoon. Martinique's roster is headlined by playmaker Emmanuel Riviere, who has competed in the Italian Serie A, French Ligue 1 and English Premier League throughout his illustrious career. Led by head coach Mario Bocaly, Martinique have never advanced past the Gold Cup group stage and lost both previous meetings against the United States in 2003 and 2017.

The top two teams in each of the four Gold Cup groups will advance to the quarterfinals on July 24-25 in Arlington, Texas, and Glendale, Arizona. The semifinals are scheduled for July 29 in Austin and Houston before the championship match takes place Aug. 1 in Las Vegas.


GOALKEEPERS (3): 22-Brad Guzan (Atlanta United; 64/0), 18-Sean Johnson (New York City FC; 9/0), 1-Matt Turner (New England Revolution; 2/0)

DEFENDERS (8): 21-George Bello (Atlanta United; 1/0), 2-Reggie Cannon (Boavista/POR; 18/1), 20-Shaq Moore (Tenerife/ESP; 6/0), 4-Donovan Pines (D.C. United; 0/0), 12-Miles Robinson (Atlanta United; 4/1), 16-James Sands (New York City FC; 1/0), 3-Sam Vines (Colorado Rapids; 4/1), 5-Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC; 15/2)

MIDFIELDERS (6): 23-Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids; 32/2), 6-Gianluca Busio (Sporting Kansas City; 1/0), 17-Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 25/7), 10-Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders; 20/0), 19-Eryk Williamson (Portland Timbers; 1/0), 14-Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes; 13/0)

FORWARDS: (6): 7-Paul Arriola (D.C. United; 36/8), 11-Daryl Dike (Orlando City; 4/1), 8-Nicholas Gioacchini (Caen/FRA; 4/2), 13-Matthew Hoppe (Schalke/GER; 0/0), 15-Jonathan Lewis (Colorado Rapids; 8/2), 9-Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew; 57/12)

A North Carolina native, Busio moved to Kansas City in 2016 to join the Sporting KC Academy and has developed into one of the sport’s top teenagers since signing a Homegrown Player contract with the club at age 15 in August 2017. Busio became the second-youngest player in MLS history to record an assist (Aug. 4, 2018) and score a goal (Oct. 17, 2018) in his debut season and has eight goals and eight assists in 62 MLS appearances over the last three years.

Busio has demanded the spotlight in 2021, amassing two goals and three assists while starting all 13 matches for a Sporting side that sits second in the Supporters’ Shield standings with 26 points and an 8-3-2 record. He scored the opening goals in Sporting’s 1-1 draw with Orlando on April 23 and 3-2 victory over Houston on May 29, with the latter earning AT&T MLS Goal of the Week honors as Busio became the league’s second-youngest player to score directly from a free kick. He is the first Sporting KC player selected to the U.S. Men’s National Team since Ike Opara in January 2018 and the first Sporting KC Academy product to join the full national team for an official competition.

The Gold Cup is the region's flagship international tournament, featuring men's national teams from across North America, Central America and the Caribbean. First contested in 1991 and taking place every two years, the Gold Cup crowns the confederation's champion and the 16th edition will be played from July 2-Aug. 1 in eight U.S. markets. The Americans are seeking their seventh Gold Cup championship, having hoisted the trophy in 1991, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2013 and 2017.