2019 MLS Homegrown Game presented by Energizer
MLS Homegrown Team vs. Chivas de Guadalajara U-20
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex | Orlando, Florida
Tuesday, July 30 | 4 p.m. CT | Twitter & TUDN.com
Sporting Kansas City midfielder Gianluca Busio has traveled to Orlando, Florida, to partake in the 2019 MLS Homegrown Game presented by Energizer.
The Sporting KC Academy product joins a skilled group of 24 MLS Homegrown players that will go toe to toe with Chivas de Guadalajara’s U-20 squad. The game will take place Tuesday at 4 p.m. CT, streaming live on Twitter via @MLS from the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando.
Busio is the fifth Sporting player to be selected for the MLS Homegrown Game. Former goalkeeper Jon Kempin, former defender Erik Palmer-Brown and current teammates Wan Kuzain Wan Kamal and Jaylin Lindsey paved the way for him. Orlando City SC Academy Director Marcelo Neveleff will coach the MLS Homegrown Team, which features players from 18 different clubs.
Goalkeepers (3): JT Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes), David Ochoa (Real Salt Lake), Mason Stajduhar (Orlando City SC)
Defenders (7): Clement Bayiha (Montreal Impact) Aboubacar Keita (Columbus Crew SC), Erik McCue (Houston Dynamo), George Campbell (Atlanta United), Andre Reynolds II (Chicago Fire), Bryan Reynolds (FC Dallas), Sam Vines (Colorado Rapids)
Midfielders (9): Brenden Aaronson (Philadelphia Union), Efrain Alvarez (LA Galaxy), Cole Bassett (Colorado Rapids), Gianluca Busio (Sporting KC), Edwin Cerrillo (FC Dallas), Mathieu Choiniere (Montreal Impact), Noble Okello (Toronto FC), Thomas Roberts (FC Dallas), Brandon Servania (FC Dallas)
Forwards (5): Theo Bair (Vancouver Whitecaps), Handwalla Bwana (Seattle Sounders), Omir Fernandez (New York Red Bulls), Benji Michel (Orlando City SC), Justin Rennicks (New England Revolution)
Taking place the night before the 2019 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target –– featuring Sporting KC defender Graham Zusi facing La Liga side Atletico Madrid at Exploria Stadium in Orlando –– the MLS Homegrown Game showcases Major League Soccer's up and coming talent. It also shows how far the youth development system in the league has come: close to 200 Homegrown Players have signed professional contracts with MLS clubs as the academy system continues to attract youthful talent from around the world.
Chivas de Guadalajara has experienced recent success, claiming the Liga MX Clausura U-20 title at the end of 2019. The U-20 squad features numerous players who have received playing time with a senior team that has secured three titles in the past three years.
Busio is having a breakout season for Sporting. At just 17-years-old, he is quickly becoming a household name and local favorite. He has made 13 MLS appearances, including six starts, and has scored three goals for the club. He became the youngest player in MLS history to score goals in back-to-back MLS regular season matches when he scored against Montreal Impact on March 30 and equalized against FC Cincinnati on April 7. He followed that up by scoring in a third straight game when he equalized late against New York Red Bulls on April 14.