By now, most American soccer fans know some version of Gianluca Busio’s story.
The teenager grew up in North Carolina only to be scouted by Sporting Kansas City’s academy setup. The young talent who, despite interest from European clubs, signed with SKC at the age of 15, before he even had a driver’s license. The U.S. youth international recently helped the US qualify for the FIFA U-17 World Cup later this year in Brazil.
But in an in-depth profile by Sam McDowell of The Kansas City Star, fans start to get sense of Busio, the person. The story is certainly worth a read to understand how Busio’s life changed, all in pursuit of his professional dreams.
Perhaps most poignantly, Busio explains how the early days in Kansas City were a struggle. Homesick and struggling to make friends, all he had was soccer.
“I hated it here, to be honest,” Busio told The Kansas City Star. “It’s just being a 14-year-old and being away from my family. And everything was new — I mean, everything. I wanted to go back. I told my mom I wanted to go back. I remember she said, ‘Just go a day at a time; we can talk every night.’ So that’s what I did. I went one day, one day, one day.”
As those days slowly stacked up, the Homegrown Player eventually scored in three consecutive games earlier this year.
“I guess, looking back on it,” Busio said, “it doesn’t all seem so crazy now.”
Well put, kid.