MAKING THE CASE: Gianluca Busio for Chipotle U.S. Soccer Young Male Player of the YearNineteen-Year-Old Made Major Strides for Club & Country, Lifting Gold Cup in Debut Run with USMNT and Earning Transfer to Serie A’s Venezia
Midfielder Gianluca Busio made major strides for both club and country in 2021 to earn his second nomination for Chipotle U.S. Soccer Young Male Player of the Year. The 19-year-old picked up his first eight senior USMNT caps and lifted the 2021 Gold Cup while excelling for Sporting Kansas City and earning a move to Venezia of the Italian Serie A.
Before casting your ballot for U.S. Soccer’s 2021 Player of the Year awards, here’s a rundown of Busio’s body of work for country and club this year:
- A USYNT fixture, Busio earned his first senior team call-up for the Gold Cup campaign, playing in all six of the USA’s matches en route to the continental crown.
- Logged his first National Team assist in the 6-1 Gold Cup group stage win against Martinique. That game saw Busio become the second-youngest U.S. player to start a Gold Cup match.
- Appeared in two World Cup qualifying matches thus far this cycle, including starting the USMNT’s most recent game, a 1-1 draw at Jamaica on Nov. 16.
- At just 15 years old, Busio became the second-youngest player in Major League Soccer history when he signed with Sporting KC in 2017 and continued to come into his own this season after a standout 2020 campaign. Wearing the No. 10 shirt for SKC, Busio started and played 13 games in the first half of the season, netting two goals and contributing three assists.
- Shortly after the Gold Cup, Busio completed a transfer to Venezia for a SKC club-record deal and has worked his way into the starting lineup for the recently-promoted Italian side, starting 14 of the club’s 15 games thus far this season.
- The teenager netted his first goal in Europe on Oct. 1 to salvage a draw in stoppage time against Cagliari.
Busio was previously nominated for the award in 2019 for his play with the U-17 USMNT during that year’s Concacaf U-17 Championship and FIFA U-17 World Cup.