Gianluca Busio - Preseason - Jumping

Following Chicago Fire FC's 2-1 victory over New York City FC, MLS preseason kept rolling on Saturday as a pair of clubs faced off in exhibition scrimmages against opponents hailing from the USL Championship, while Atlanta United met USL League One side Tormenta FC in a closed-door scrimmage.


Sporting Kansas City were the first of those clubs, as Peter Vermes' group faced off Phoenix Rising FC and took a convincing victory thanks to a pair of young homegrowns combining for all four of their goals. FC Cincinnati went next in their inaugural match of the 2021 exhibition slate, which came against Louisville City SC.


The Five Stripes, meanwhile, welcomed the return of Josef Martinez in their preseason opener. 


Here's the full rundown of how all three teams fared in Saturday's action:


Sporting Kansas City 4, Phoenix Rising FC 0


Playing a three-period scrimmage in Chandler, Arizona against one of last year's best clubs in the USL Championship, Sporting got their preseason off to a solid start, cruising to a 4-0 victory on the strength of a hat trick from homegrown signee Wilson Harris and a tally from Gianluca Busio.


Harris struck first for Sporting just nine minutes into the contest with a long-distance finish he deposited into the net after teammate Johnny Russell was initially beaten to a ball over the top by Phoenix goalkeeper Zac Lubin.

Harris would only need 10 minutes to add his second, with Russell playing the facilitator role with a through ball that gave the 21-year-old forward a look that he converted past Lubin to make it 2-0. 


Touted by Vermes as a potential breakout candidate ahead of the season, Busio got his 2021 campaign off to a good start, as the 18-year-old midfield prodigy found Sporting's third of the day with a headed finish just shy of the half-hour mark, with Russell once again acting as the provider.

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Harris would round off the hat trick and the 4-0 scoreline with another goal in the 33rd minute, as Sporting turned to its second and third lineups for the final two periods. Felipe Hernandez was sent off after getting issued his second yellow card in the 83rd minute, but SKC would manage to see out the clean sheet.

Sporting KC continues their preseason schedule next Saturday with a clash against the Colorado Rapids at Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Arizona. Kickoff is set for 6 pm ET.


Goals


  • 9' - SKC - Wilson Harris
  • 19' - SKC - Wilson Harris
  • 29' - SKC - Gianluca Busio
  • 33' - SKC - Wilson Harris


Lineups


Sporting Kansas City, first period XI:Tim Melia; Jaylin Lindsey, Kaveh Rad, Andreu Fontàs, Luis Martins; Ilie Sanchez, Gianluca Busio, Gadi Kinda; Johnny Russell, Wilson Harris, Daniel Salloi


Sporting Kansas City, second period XI:Kendall McIntosh; Kayden Pierre, Roberto Puncec, Graham Smith, Amadou Dia; Felipe Hernandez, Jake Davis, Christian Duke; Grayson Barber, Wilson Harris, Khiry Shelton


Sporting Kansas City, third period XI: John Pulskamp; Kayden Pierre, Matt Constant, Danny Barbir, Travian Sousa; Felipe Hernandez, Jake Davis, Christian Duke; Ozzie Cisneros, Dominik Resetar, Tyler Freeman




FC Cincinnati 0, Louisville City SC 3


It wasn't as smooth sailing for FC Cincinnati in their first exhibition action, as Jaap Stam's group fell 3-0 to Louisville City SC.


The match was scoreless until the 37th minute, when Louisville was awarded a penalty kick after a Cincinnati defender was whistled for a handball in his own box, allowing Abdou Thiam to convert from the spot.

The score would remain 1-0 until the 63rd minute when Louisville's Brian Ownby found a second after winning a one-on-one with the Cincy goalkeeper.

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Louisville's George Davis IV found their third of the afternoon five minutes from full time, sealing off  the 3-0 result.

Goals


  • 37' - LOU - Abdou Thiam (PK)
  • 63' - LOU - Brian Ownby
  • 85' - LOU - George Davis IV


Lineups


  • No lineup information was provided for this scrimmage 




Atlanta United 3, Tormenta FC 0 


Martinez returned to the field for Atlanta United in a competitive match for the first time since ACL surgery a year ago as the Gabriel Heinze era began with a 3-0 victory over Tormenta FC in a closed-door scrimmage in Marietta, Ga. 

Jake Mulraney set up Tyler Wolff for the game's first goal before doubling the lead himself. Erick "Cubo" Torres added a goal for Atlanta, which take on the Charleston Battery in their next preseason fixture March 20.


Goals 


  • ATL — Tyler Wolff
  • ATL — Jake Mulraney
  • ATL — Cubo Torres


Lineups 


  • No lineup information was provided for this scrimmage 

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