Gianluca Busio - Sporting KC - celebration

With 10 games played in the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs, youth-centric records are being set left and right.


Look no further than last weekend’s Western Conference Round One stage, when Sporting Kansas City and the San Jose Earthquakes combined to field seven Homegrown Players. That equaled a total set in the Seattle Sounders-FC Dallas game in last year’s playoffs, though this time it was more spread around.


Sporting (Jaylin Lindsey, Gianluca Busio) and San Jose (JT Marcinkowski, Nick Lima) each started two Homegrowns, only for Sporting to bring Felipe Hernandez off the bench and San Jose to turn to Cade Cowell and Tommy Thompson in reserve.


Meanwhile, Busio set an individual record of becoming the youngest player (18 years, 178 days) to score and assist in the same playoff game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, beating none other than Landon Donovan. Busio’s contributions proved crucial in the eventual shootout win, which followed a 3-3 draw.


Youngest players to score, assist in same MLS Cup Playoffs game

<div>Gianluca Busio</div>
<div>18 years, 178 days</div>
<div>11/22/2020 KC&nbsp; vs SJ</div>
<div>Landon Donovan</div>
<div>19 years, 206 days</div>
<div>9/26/2001 SJ&nbsp; vs CLB</div>
<div>Landon Donovan</div>
<div>19 years, 224 days</div>
<div>10/14/2001 SJ&nbsp; vs MIA</div>
<div>DeAndre Yedlin</div>
<div>20 years, 121 days</div>
<div>11/7/2013 SEA&nbsp; at POR</div>
<div>Edson Buddle</div>
<div>21 years, 127 days</div>
<div>9/25/2002 CLB&nbsp; at SJ</div>

Sticking with Busio, he also became the fourth youngest player to score a goal in MLS Cup Playoffs history. But Busio was upstaged at the same round, with FC Dallas striker Ricardo Pepi (third youngest) and New York Red Bulls midfielder Caden Clark (second youngest) both supplanting the US youth international midfielder. 


The record still belongs to Toronto FC striker Jozy Altidore from his RBNY days (16 years, 357 days), though the entire field shuffled around after Round One.


Youngest players to score in MLS Cup Playoffs game

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<div>Jozy Altidore</div>
<div>16 years, 357 days</div>
<div>10/29/2006 NY&nbsp; at DC</div>
<div>Caden Clark</div>
<div>17 years, 178 days</div>
<div>11/21/2020 NYR&nbsp; at CLB</div>
<div>Ricardo Pepi</div>
<div>17 years, 317 days</div>
<div>11/22/2020 DAL&nbsp; at POR</div>
<div>Gianluca Busio</div>
<div>18 years, 178 days</div>
<div>11/22/2020 KC&nbsp; vs SJ</div>
<div>DaMarcus Beasley</div>
<div>19 years, 146 days</div>
<div>10/17/2001 CHI&nbsp; vs LA</div>
<div>Anatole Abang</div>
<div>19 years, 146 days</div>
<div>11/29/2015 NYR&nbsp; vs CLB</div>

Another headliner was LAFC forward Christian Torres, who became the youngest player in MLS postseason history to start a game (16 years, 223 days). Clark entered the top five as well, but Torres is now the leader ahead of Altidore.


Youngest players to start in the MLS Cup Playoffs

<div>Christian Torres</div>
<div>16 years, 223 days</div>
<div>11/24/2020 LFC&nbsp; at SEA</div>
<div>Jozy Altidore</div>
<div>16 years, 349 days</div>
<div>10/21/2006 NY&nbsp; vs DC</div>
<div>Eddie Gaven</div>
<div>17 years, 15 days</div>
<div>11/09/2003 MET at NE</div>
<div>Freddy Adu</div>
<div>17 years, 141 days</div>
<div>10/21/2006 DC&nbsp; at NY</div>
<div>Caden Clark</div>
<div>17 years, 178 days</div>
<div>11/21/2020 NYR at CLB</div>

Torres is also the second-youngest player to feature in any MLS playoff game. He trails only Freddy Adu, who was aged 15 years and 150 days when he saw action in 2004 for D.C. United.


Youngest players to appear in the MLS Cup Playoffs

<div>Freddy Adu</div>
<div>15 years, 150 days</div>
<div>10/30/2004 DC&nbsp; at MET</div>
<div>Christian Torres</div>
<div>16 years, 223 days</div>
<div>11/24/2020 LFC&nbsp; at SEA</div>
<div>Jozy Altidore</div>
<div>16 years, 349 days</div>
<div>10/21/2006 NY&nbsp; vs DC</div>
<div>Alphonso Davies</div>
<div>17 years, 0 days</div>
<div>11/02/2017 VAN at SEA</div>
<div>Eddie Gaven</div>
<div>17 years, 7 days</div>
<div>11/01/2003 MET at NE</div>

Will up-and-coming talent break more records during the 2020 playoffs? Be sure to tune into the Conference Semifinals this weekend to find out. 

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