Sporting Kansas City midfielder Gianluca Busio scored his fourth goal of the 2019 Concacaf U-17 Championship on Thursday as the United States U-17 Men’s National Team steamrolled Guadeloupe 8-0 in the competition’s Round of 16 at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
Busio hammered home from close range in the 25th minute of the one-sided affair, helping the Americans set up a quarterfinal clash with Panama at 2 p.m. CT on Sunday. The contest will stream live in English on the Concacaf Facebook page and air live in Spanish on Univision Deportes Network.
BUSIO!🚨— U.S. Soccer YNT (@USYNT) May 10, 2019
Make that 4-0 as Busio earns his 4th goal of the tourney off a bobbled keeper handle. pic.twitter.com/bdG8kjTJzF
Sunday’s winner between the United States and Panama will reach the semifinals and qualify for the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup as one of Concacaf’s four representatives at the biennial tournament.
Busio played the full 90 minutes in Thursday’s comfortable triumph, while fellow 16-year-old Sporting KC Academy product Tyler Freeman was an unused substitute. Head coach Raphael Wicky’s side received a hat-trick from Gio Reyna, an Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez brace, a Griffin Yow strike and an own goal in a game that was delayed in the third minute due to inclement weather.
With four goals in three tournament appearances, Busio is tied for the U.S. scoring lead with Seattle Sounders FC forward Ocampo-Chavez. Costa Rica’s Geancarlo Castro currently tops the scoring list with six goals in the competition.
The USA has made quick work of its opponents at the Concacaf U-17 Championship thus far, scoring 20 goals and conceding three en route to four consecutive wins, but the quality of competition—and the stakes—will jump dramatically on Sunday.
A win against Panama, which emerged from Group H unbeaten in second place behind Costa Rica, would punch the Americans’ U-17 World Cup ticket and deliver a matchup with either Costa Rica or Canada in the semifinals next Tuesday. The final is scheduled for Thursday, May 16.