Sporting KC midfielder Gianluca Busio named to United States roster for FIFA U-17 World Cup

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Gianluca Busio was named to the United States roster on Thursday for the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil from Oct. 26 to Nov. 17.

The United States will kick off their world championship campaign when Group D play opens on Sunday, Oct. 27 vs. Senegal (2:50 p.m. CT; FS1, Telemundo), then faces Japan on Wednesday, Oct. 30 (5:50 p.m. CT; FS2, Universo) and finishes the group stage on Saturday, Nov. 2 vs. Netherlands (5:50 p.m. CT; FS2, Universo).

Busio is one of 21 members of the team selected by United States Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach Raphael Wicky from a pool of American players born on or after Jan. 1, 2002.

The Sporting KC Academy product has seven goals in 15 appearances for the U.S. U-17s, including five goals at the 2019 Concacaf U-17 Championship in May to earn Best XI honors and help the U.S. qualify for a 17th appearance at the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

Notably, Busio will be the most experienced professional to ever take the field for the United States at a U-17 World Cup after making 29 league appearances for Sporting Kansas City over the last two seasons.

This year, Busio scored in three straight league games from March 30 to April 14, becoming the youngest player in MLS history to score a goal in consecutive matches. He also started in the MLS Homegrown Game on July 30, propelling the Homegrowns to a penalty shootout victory over the Chivas de Guadalajara U-20s.

A native of Greensboro, North Carolina, Busio moved from his hometown to Kansas City in 2016 to join the Sporting KC Academy. He rose from the U-14s to the U-18s before inking an MLS contract as a Homegrown Player in August 2017, becoming the second-youngest signing in MLS history at the time (15 years and 89 days).

Busio made his professional debut for the Swope Park Rangers in April 2018, still aged 15. He then broke into the Sporting KC first team during the latter half of the 2018 campaign, becoming the second-youngest player in MLS history to score a goal (Oct. 17, 2018 at Vancouver Whitecaps FC) and record an assist (Aug. 4, 2018 at Houston Dynamo).

The 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup features 24 nations divided into six groups of four teams. The top two finishers in each group, as well as the four best third-placed teams advance to the knockout round. All 52 matches of the tournament will be played in four venues across Brazil.