Gianluca Busio - Gold Cup callup

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Gianluca Busio was named to the United States Men’s National Team’s final 23-player roster for the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup, U.S. Soccer announced on Thursday.

At age 19, Busio is the second youngest player and one of only seven teenagers to be selected to a Gold Cup roster in U.S. Men’s National Team history.

Gold Cup: Youngest U.S. MNT players

  1. Juan Agudelo (2011)
  2. Gianluca Busio (2021)
  3. George Bello (2021)
  4. DaMarcus Beasley (2002)
  5. Jovan Kirovski (1996)
  6. Michael Bradley (2007)
  7. Landon Donovan (2002)

The United States roster for the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup also features Kansas City native Nicholas Gioacchini, two-time World Cup veteran Brad Guzan, reigning MLS Defender of the Year Walker Zimmerman and FC Schalke 04 forward Matthew Hoppe, who scored six goals in Germany’s Bundesliga last season.

“Our priority is to win the Gold Cup. Anytime we're competing for a trophy, we want to win it,” U.S. MNT head coach Gregg Berhalter said. “It's going to take a good effort by the group, but it's certainly a focus of ours. We know the games are going to be difficult, and as we looked at the roster for this tournament, we focused on guys who are in form and can help the team win.”

A North Carolina native, Busio moved to Kansas City to join the Sporting KC Academy and has developed into one of the top teenagers in American soccer 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 en route to recording eight goals and eight assists in 62 MLS appearances (regular season and playoffs) in the last three years.

In 2021, Busio leads Sporting KC in several statistical categories, including key passes (17), tackles won (21), duels won (73) and recoveries (90), and his 315 pressures are most in Major League Soccer. 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 second youngest player in league history to score directly from a free kick.

Busio previously earned call-ups to play for the United States Under-15, Under-17 and Under-20 youth national teams and was named a finalist for U.S. Soccer Young Player of the Year in 2019 after earning Best XI honors with five goals at the 2019 Concacaf U-17 Championship before scoring at the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil.

Busio 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 United States will be based in Kansas City – a Candidate Host City for the 2026 FIFA World Cup – throughout the group stage, as Children’s Mercy Park hosts Gold Cup matches for a fourth time (2011, 2015, 2019, 2021) since opening a decade ago. Tickets start at $45 via SeatGeek.com and three-day passes can be purchased for access to all five international matches at the state-of-the-art venue, headlined by U.S. Men's National Team matches on July 11, July 15 and July 18.

2021 Concacaf Gold Cup at Children's Mercy Park
All times CT, schedule subject to change

Sunday, July 11 (*tickets)
5:30pm Canada vs Martinique
7:30pm United States vs TBD
(Winner Prelims 7)

Thursday, July 15 (*tickets)
6:30pm Canada vs TBD (Winner Prelims 7)
8:30pm United States vs Martinique

Sunday, July 18 (tickets)
4:00pm United States vs Canada 

*TBD by 2021 Gold Cup Prelims from July 2-6