Preview: Gianluca Busio and USA to face Netherlands in U-17 World Cup group stage finale

United States U-17s vs. Netherlands U-17s
2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup | Group D
Saturday, Nov. 2 | 6 p.m. CT | FS2, Telemundo
Estadio da Serrinha | Goiania​, Brazil

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Gianluca Busio and the United States U-17 Men's National Team will aim to punch a ticket to the knockout round of the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup when they face Netherlands in Saturday's group stage finale at Estadio da Serrinha in Goiania, Brazil. The pivotal encounter will air live at 6 p.m. CT on FS2 (English) and Telemundo (Spanish) in addition to streaming on the FOX Sports app.

The Americans currently occupy third place in Group D with one point through two games, having lost 4-1 to Senegal on Sunday before drawing Japan 0-0 on Wednesday. Busio played the full 90 minutes in both matches, becoming the first Sporting player to score a goal at a U-17 World Cup in the defeat to Senegal.

The U-17 World Cup features 24 nations divided into six groups of four teams. The top two finishers in each group, as well as the four best third-placed teams, will advance to the Round of 16. A win against Netherlands would put the USA in good position to advance to the knockout round with four points: in 21 previous FIFA tournaments with this format, 101 teams finished the group stage with exactly four points, and 98 advanced (97 percent). Sixty-six teams finished with three points, and 31 advanced (47 percent).

Much like the USA, Netherlands essentially face a must-win scenario in order to reach the Round of 16. The two-time defending U-17 European Championship winners have slumped to consecutive losses against Japan (3-0) and Senegal (3-1), putting the Dutchmen behind the eight-ball heading into Saturday.

2019 FIFA U-17 WORLD CUP: GROUP D STANDINGS

# TEAM PTS W L T GF GA GD
1 Senegal 6 2 0 0 7 2 +5
2 Japan 4 1 0 1 3 0 +3
3 United States 1 0 1 1 1 4 -3
4 Netherlands 0 0 2 0 1 6 -5

The USA’s squad consists of 21 players who were born on or after Jan. 1, 2002. Busio is one of 15 players representing an MLS club and one of 14 players who competed at the Concacaf U-17 Championship earlier this year. Since the start of the current U-17 cycle in December 2017, the U.S. has put together a 17-9-6 international record.

The USA has qualified for a record 17 FIFA U-17 World Cups and is one of just seven countries to qualify for the last three tournaments.

Busio, who has tallied four goals and two assists in 34 competitive appearances for Sporting over the last two seasons, became the most experienced professional to ever take the field for the United States at a U-17 World Cup last Sunday. He enters the tournament on the heels of a strong 2019 campaign in Kansas City that yielded three goals and an assist across 26 games, including a stretch from March 30 to April 14 that saw him score in three straight fixtures and become the youngest player ever to score in back-to-back MLS matches.

2019 FIFA U-17 WORLD CUP: USA GROUP D SCHEDULE

Date Matchup / Result Kickoff (CT) Venue TV Info
Sunday, Oct. 27 USA 1-4 Senegal 3 p.m. Estadio Kleber Andrade; Cariacica, Brazil FS1, Telemundo
Wed., Oct. 30 USA 0-0 Japan 6 p.m. Estadio Kleber Andrade; Cariacica, Brazil FS2, Universo
Sat., Nov. 2 USA vs. Netherlands 6 p.m. Estadio da Serrinha; Goiania, Brazil
FS2, Universo

2019 FIFA U-17 WORLD CUP: USA ROSTER (CLUB; HOMETOWN)

GOALKEEPERS (3): 21-Aaron Cervantes (Orange County SC; Chino Hills, Calif.), 1-Damian Las (Fulham/ENG; Norridge, Ill.), 12-Chituru Odunze (Leicester City/ENG; London, England)

DEFENDERS (7): 15-Sebastian Anderson (Colorado Rapids; Highlands Ranch, Colo.), 13-Adam Armour (North Carolina FC; Cary, N.C.), 3-George Bello (Atlanta United FC; Douglasville, Ga.), 4-Nicolas Carrera (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas), 14-Tayvon Gray (New York City FC; Bronx, N.Y.), 5-Kobe Hernandez-Foster (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), 2-Joe Scally (New York City FC; Lake Grove, N.Y.)

MIDFIELDERS (5): 18-Maximilian Dietz (Freiburg/GER; Frankfurt, Germany), 17-Ethan Dobbelaere (Seattle Sounders FC; Seattle, Wash.), 8-Bryang Kayo (Orange County SC; Poolesville, Md.), 6-Daniel Leyva (Seattle Sounders FC; Las Vegas, Nev.), 16-Adam Saldana (LA Galaxy; Panorama City, Calif.)

FORWARDS (6): 7-Gianluca Busio (Sporting Kansas City; Greensboro, N.C.), 20-Andres Jasson (New York City FC; Greenwich, Conn.), 19-Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez (Seattle Sounders FC; Merced, Calif.), 9-Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas; McKinney, Texas), 10-Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund/GER; Bedford, N.Y.), 11-Griffin Yow (D.C. United; Clifton, Va.)

Topics: