Gianluca Busio - Sporting KC U-16s
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Gianluca Busio named to final U.S. U-17 roster for Nike International Friendlies

Sporting Kansas City Academy forward Gianluca Busio was named to the final United States U-17 Men’s National Team roster on Tuesday for the 2017 Men’s Nike International Friendlies in Lakewood Ranch, Florida.

Busio was named to the preliminary 24-man squad last week alongside Sporting KC Academy defender Mitch Eise. U.S. U-17 head coach John Hackworth has trimmed the roster to 20 players, meaning Eise will now be available to join the Sporting KC U-17s at this week's Development Academy Winter Showcase that also takes place in Lakewood Ranch.

Busio and the USA kick off the prestigious tournament Wednesday against England at 6 p.m. CT. The will then face Netherlands on Friday at 6 p.m. CT and Brazil on Sunday at 4 p.m. CT. All tournament games will take place at Premier Sports Campus and stream live on ussoccer.com.

2017 Men's Nike International Friendlies Schedule

Wednesday, Nov. 29
Brazil vs. Netherlands, 2:30 p.m. CT
USA vs. England, 6 p.m. CT

Friday, Dec. 1
England vs. Brazil, 2:30 p.m. CT
USA vs. Netherlands, 6 p.m. CT

Sunday, Dec. 3
Netherlands vs. England, 12:30 p.m. CT
USA vs. Brazil, 4 p.m. CT

Busio and the rest of the new U-17 MNT player pool (born in 2002 or later) competed at the U.S. U-15 level for parts of 2016 and all of 2017 prior to this competition. The Nike International Friendlies will serve as the first steps of preparation for the 2019 CONCACAF U-17 Championship, where the top four teams will qualify for the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup.

Busio recently competed at the 2017 CONCACAF U-15 Championship in August, where he scored five goals in as many matches and helped the USA to a second-place finish behind Mexico. The North Carolina native also represented the U.S. U-15s at the Torneo Delle Nazioni in Italy in May, where he scored three goals as the Americans were crowned tournament champions.

The 15-year-old Busio signed for Sporting KC as a Homegrown Player on Aug. 25, becoming the second-youngest signing in MLS history. He is one of two MLS homegrowns on the U-17 roster alongside Atlanta United FC’s George Bello. 

A member of the Sporting KC Academy since fall 2016, Busio has tallied four goals in eight appearances for the U-19s during the 2017-18 Development Academy campaign. He also competed in three Generation adidas Cup qualifying matches for the Sporting KC U-17s in October, scoring once.

The 2017 Men’s Nike International Friendlies mark the 17th edition of the tournament, once again featuring three guest countries as well as the United States. At last year’s competition, Sporting KC homegrown signing Jaylin Lindsey helped the USA to a 7-1 win over Portugal, a 5-1 defeat of Turkey and a 3-0 victory against Brazil to finish as tournament champion.

U.S. U-17 MNT 2017 Nike International Friendlies Roster by Position:

GOALKEEPERS (2): Damian Las (Chicago Fire; Norridge, Ill.), Kashope Oladapo (Portland Timbers; Happy Valley, Ore.)

DEFENDERS (6): Axel Alejandre (FC United Soccer Club; Chicago, Ill.), Sebastian Anderson (Colorado Rapids; Highlands Ranch, Co.), George Bello (Atlanta United FC; Douglasville, Ga.), Mason Judge (Chargers Soccer Club; Tampa, Fla.), Kenneth Nielsen (Pateadores; Irvine, Calif.), Joseph Scally (New York City FC; Lake Grove, N.Y.)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Joshua Atencio (Seattle Sounders FC; Bellevue, Wash.), Gianluca Busio (Sporting Kansas City; Greenboro, NC), Adam Saldana (Real So Cal; Panorama City, Calif.), Gilbert Fuentes Perez (San Jose Earthquakes; Tracy, Calif.), Maximillian Goeggel (VFB Stuttgart; San Francisco, Calif.), Peter Stroud (New York Red Bulls; Chester, NJ)

FORWARDS (6): Julian Gaines (Lonestar Soccer Club; Austin, Tex.), Cade Hagan (Sockers FC; Naperville, Ill.), Diego Lopez (FC Golden State; Chino, Calif.), Alfonso Ocampo Chavez (Seattle Sounders FC; Fresno, Calif.), Dante Sealy (FC Dallas; Frisco, Tex.), Ray Serrano (Seattle Sounders FC; Graham, Wash.)

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