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.