Late heroics give Gianluca Busio spot on MLS Team of the Week bench

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Gianluca Busio made full use of his 24-minute substitute appearance on Sunday night at Children's Mercy Park.

With the hosts down 2-1 to the New York Red Bulls in the dying embers of the match, Busio pulled his side level with a close-range finish that gave both teams a share of the spoils.

The blossoming 16-year-old was recognized for his late-game heroics with a spot on the MLS Team of the Week bench for Week 7. It's merely another feather in the cap for the U.S. youth international, who has made a habit of rewriting the history books since last October when he opened his Sporting KC scoring account.

Notable Gianluca Busio Milestones

  • Second-youngest player to score a goal in MLS history (Oct. 17, 2018 at VAN)
  • Second-youngest player to record an assist in MLS history (Aug. 4, 2018 at HOU)
  • Youngest MLS goal scorer in Children’s Mercy Park history (March 30, 2019 vs. MTL)
  • Youngest player in MLS history to score in back-to-back regular season matches (April 7, 2019 at CIN)
  • First player in Sporting KC history to score a game-tying goal in back-to-back regular season matches (April 14, 2019 vs. RBNY)
  • Third player in MLS history to score four career goals before his 17th birthday (April 14, 2019 vs. RBNY)

"I say it all the time, he’s not 16," Sporting Manager Peter Vermes said of Busio after the match. "He’s like 25. He’s a very mature kid. He gets it. He’s always in the game and he understands what the game needs. He’s an important player for our club and at the same time, he’s making big strides in a short period of time."

Busio and Sporting will now prepare for Saturday's Western Conference clash against the San Jose Earthquakes, set for 9 p.m. CT at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, California. FOX Sports Kansas City and FOX Sports Midwest Plus will provide three hours of live coverage beginning at 8:30 p.m. CT, while Sports Radio 810 WHB (English) and ESPN Deportes KC 1480 AM (Spanish) will air live radio broadcasts with The Final Whistle postgame show immediately following on 810 WHB.