Sporting Kansas City midfielder Gianluca Busio was named to the MLS Team of the Week presented by Audi today after scoring a world-class free kick and recording the game-winning assist in a wild 3-2 victory over rivals Houston Dynamo FC on Saturday night at Children’s Mercy Park.
Busio delivered a career performance on Saturday as Children’s Mercy Park welcomed its first full capacity crowd since March 7, 2020. 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), possessions won (11) and recoveries (11).
With Sporting down 1-0 in the 51st minute, Busio ignited euphoric celebrations among the 20,086 fans in attendance with one of the greatest goals in Children’s Mercy Park history. Unleashing a 30-yard free kick that bent over the Houston wall and caromed into the net off the left post, Busio drew Sporting level and set the stage for a thrilling comeback win.
After Alan Pulido buried a penalty kick to give Sporting a 2-1 advantage in the 61st minute, Busio tallied what ultimately stood as the match-winning assist four minutes later. 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.
Team of the Week (3-4-3, left to right): Jonathan Bond (LA) – Pedro Santos (CLB), Jack Elliott (PHI), Keegan Rosenberry (COL) – Hany Mukhtar (NSH), Cristian Casseres Jr. (RBNY), Gianluca Busio (SKC), Carles Gil (NE) – Paul Arriola (DC), Kacper Przybylko (PHI), Jesus Medina (NYC) //Coach: Ronny Deila (NYC)
One of two players to start all eight matches this season for a Sporting side that occupies second place in the Western Conference, Busio now has 15 combined goals (eight) and assists (seven) in the MLS regular season and playoffs combined. That moves him into the top 10 among teenagers since the dawn of the Opta era in 2010.
Top 10 Goals & Assists as Teenager in MLS
(2010-present, reg. season + playoffs)
1. Diego Fagundez 36
2. Andy Najar 21
3. Alphonso Davies 20
4. Cole Bassett 18
4. Danny Mwanga 18
6. Jesus Ferreira 17
7. Gianluca Busio 15
7. Tyler Adams 15
7. Juan Agudelo 15
7. Luis Gil 15
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.