Sporting Kansas City Homegrown Player Gianluca Busio helped the United States U-17 Men's National Team to the Sportchain Cup title last week in Benicassim, Spain.
The 15-year-old midfielder tallied a goal and an assist in the U-17 MNT's 2-0 victory over Norway last Tuesday. Led by head coach John Hackworth, the United States earned a pair of wins over both the Norwegians and India to finish the tournament with a perfect 4-0 record.
Busio also featured in the Americans' title-clinching 1-0 result against Norway on Sunday, which remained scoreless until Giovanni Reyna struck in second-half stoppage time to secure the dramatic win.
A product of the Sporting KC Academy and the youngest player in Sporting KC history, Busio was deployed as a right winger last Tuesday, assisting Adam Saldana's goal in the 35th minute before doubling his team's lead in the 72nd minute. Busio then slid into a central midfield role in Saturday's contest.
Hackworth used a split-squad approach across the four matches last week as the U.S. navigated four matches over a six-day period.
U.S. U-17 MNT Results
- Monday, April 16: W 1-0 vs. India (Josh Pynadath 59')
- Tuesday, April 17: W 2-0 vs. Norway (Adam Saldana 35', Gianluca Busio 72')
- Thursday, April 19: W 1-0 vs. India (Josh Pynadath 16')
- Saturday, April 21: W 1-0 vs. India (Giovanni Reyna 92')
Busio became Sporting KC’s youngest player ever when he signed a Homegrown contract last August aged 15 years and 89 days. He has starred for the Sporting KC Academy since joining from the North Carolina Fusion in August 2016, featuring at the U-14 through U-19 levels over the last two seasons in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, Busio made his professional debut for the Swope Park Rangers — Sporting KC’s USL affiliate — on April 4 at Children’s Mercy Park. In his first game for the Rangers, Busio tallied the game-winning assist in a 1-0 victory over Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC and completed 47 of his 50 passes.
U.S. U-17 MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Aaron Cervantes (Orange County SC; Chino Hills, Calif.), Damian Las (Chicago Fire Academy; Chicago, Ill.).
DEFENDERS (8): Axel Alejandre (FC United; Chicago, Ill.), Michael Barragan (Atlas/MEX; Guadalajara, Mexico), George Bello (Atlanta United; Douglasville, Ga.), Tayvon Gray (New York City FC Academy; Bronx, N.Y.), Kobe Hernandez (LA Galaxy Academy; Los Angeles, Calif.), Mason Judge (Chargers SC; Tampa, Fla.), Joseph Scally (New York City FC; Lake Grove, N.Y.), John Tolkin (New York Red Bulls; Chatham, N.J.).
MIDFIELDERS (8): Gianluca Busio (Sporting Kansas City; Greensboro, N.C.), Luis Flores (Shattuck-Saint Mary's; Half Moon Bay, Calif.), Gilbert Fuentes (San Jose Earthquakes; Tracy, Calif.), Cesar Garcia (FC Dallas Academy; Carrollton, Texas), Jack Imperato (De Anza Force; San Jose, Calif.), Andres Jasson (New York City FC Academy; Greenwich, Conn.), Adam Saldana (Real So Cal; Panorama City, Calif.), Peter Stroud (New York Red Bulls Academy; Chester, N.J.).
FORWARDS (6): Adam Armour (North Carolina FC; Cary, N.C.), Diego Lopez (Atlanta United FC 2; Chino, Calif.), Joshua Pynadath (Ajax/NED; Amsterdam, Netherlands), Benjamin Redzic (FC Dallas Academy; Carrollton, Texas), Giovanni Reyna (New York City FC Academy; Bedford Corners, N.Y.), Ray Serrano (Sounders FC 2; Graham, Wash.).