Sporting Kansas City midfielder Gianluca Busio and Sporting Kansas City II goalkeeper John Pulskamp have joined the United States U-20 Men’s National Team for a two-week training camp that began Tuesday and will run through Jan. 19 at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
The domestic training camp will give Busio and Pulskamp their first U-20 experience, having previously represented the United States at various youth levels. Newly appointed U.S. U-20 head coach Anthony Hudson has assembled a squad of 24 players for the camp, highlighted by friendly matches against archrivals Mexico on Jan. 16 and 18.
The training camp will provide Hudson his first chance to work with the U-20 player pool ahead of this summer’s Concacaf U-20 Championship, where the USA will look to defend its confederation title after winning the 2017 and 2019 editions. The U.S. is set to meet Costa Rica, Jamaica and St. Kitts and Nevis in the group stage of the tournament.
Busio, 17, was recently named a finalist for the 2019 U.S. Soccer Young Male Player of the Year after enjoying a breakout season for Sporting Kansas City and the U-17 Men’s National Team. With Sporting, Busio made 26 appearances across all competitions and scored in three straight MLS matches from March 30 to April 14, becoming the youngest player in league history to score a goal in consecutive games. He also started in the MLS Homegrown Game last July, propelling the Homegrowns to a penalty shootout victory over the Chivas de Guadalajara U-20s.
On the international stage, Busio tallied five goals at the 2019 Concacaf U-17 Championship last May to earn tournament Best XI honors and help the United States qualify for the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil. He scored the Americans’ lone World Cup goal in October, starting all three U.S. matches in the competition.
A native of Greensboro, North Carolina, Busio moved to Kansas City at age 14 to join the Sporting KC Academy in 2016. He rose from the U-14s to the U-18s before inking an MLS contract as a Homegrown Player in August 2017, becoming the second-youngest signing in MLS history at the time (15 years and 89 days).
Busio made his professional debut for Sporting Kansas City II in April 2018, still aged 15. He then broke into Sporting’s first team during the latter half of the 2018 campaign, becoming the second-youngest player in MLS history to score a goal (Oct. 17, 2018 at Vancouver Whitecaps FC) and record an assist (Aug. 4, 2018 at Houston Dynamo).
Pulskamp, 18, joins the U.S. U-20s on the heels of a strong debut season in the USL Championship with Sporting KC II. He led Sporting II goalkeepers in starts (14), victories (four) and saves (45) as one of the team’s best teenage players throughout 2019.
Born and raised in Bakersfield, California, Pulskamp signed for Sporting II in April 2019 after spending two seasons with the LA Galaxy Academy, competing at the U-17 and U-19 levels in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. Prior to his stint with LA, the 6-foot-2 goalkeeper represented California-based academies Real So Cal and Central California Aztecs.
Internationally, Pulskamp notably competed at a U.S. U-18 training camp in June 2018 at Pinnacle, Sporting’s world-class training home in Kansas City, Kansas. That same year, he went on trial with English Premier League outfit AFC Bournemouth but did not sign for the club.
U-20 U.S. MNT Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (4): David Ochoa (Real Salt Lake; Oxnard, Calif.), Chituru Odunze (Leicester City/ENG; London, England), John Pulskamp (Sporting Kansas City; Bakersfield, Calif.), Patrick Schulte (St. Louis University; Saint Charles, Mo.)
DEFENDERS (10): Jacob Akanyirige (San Jose Earthquakes; Pleasanton, Calif.), Nico Benalcazar (Wake Forest; Wilton, Conn.), Kevin Bonilla (FC Dallas; Dallas, Texas), Nathan Harriel (Philadelphia Union; Oldsmar, Fla.), Ian Hoffmann (Karlsruher/GER; Bethany Beach, Del.), Blake Malone (North Carolina; Las Vegas, Nev.), Kurowskybob Pierre (Real Salt Lake; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), Andre Reynolds II (Chicago Fire FC; Chicago, Ill.), Stuart Ritchie (Hannover 96/GER; Pleasanton, Calif.), Leonardo Sepulveda (Salamanca/ESP.; Corona, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Cole Bassett (Colorado Rapids; Littleton, Colo.), Leon Flach (St. Pauli/GER; Bad Schwartau, Germany), Aidan Morris (Columbus Crew S.C.; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), Marcelo Palomino (Houston Dynamo; Houston, Texas), Thomas Roberts (FC Dallas; Little Rock, Ark.)
FORWARDS (5): Gianluca Busio (Sporting Kansas City; Greensboro, N.C.), Cameron Harper (Celtic/SCO; Roseville, Calif.), Matko Miljevic (Argentinos Juniors/ARG; Miami, Fla.), Dante Sealy (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas), Marlon Vargas (Seattle Sounders FC.; Bakersfield, Calif.)