Sporting KC 16-year-old Gianluca Busio on 1st start: "A big step for me"

A week after earning his MLS debut, Sporting Kansas City teenager Gianluca Busio made more history this weekend, becoming the third-youngest player to start an MLS game in Sporting's 1-0 victory over Houston.

Busio, who is 16, was put in the starting lineup by head coach Peter Vermes for Saturday’s road match vs. the Houston Dynamo, and responded with a beautiful one-touch chipped assist to Diego Rubio on Sporting KC's second-half strike. Vermes had high praise for Busio's overall performance, telling reporters postgame that it was worthy of "Man of the Match" honors.

Only Freddy Adu (14) and Alphonso Davies (15) were younger when they made their first MLS starts.

Busio was the second-youngest player to sign an MLS contract, behind only Adu, when he inked a Homegrown deal with SKC as a 15-year-old last August. He impressed Vermes in his first MLS appearance last week when he played 13 minutes in a 3-2 loss to FC Dallas.

Busio's night got off a to an eventful start when Houston's Alejandro Fuenmayor elbowed him in the head and was sent off with a straight red card in the 14th minute. Later in the first half, the 16-year-old had a rocket of a shot go just wide.

5 Youngest Starters in MLS History

Freddy Adu
D.C. United
14 years, 334 days
Alphonso Davies
Whitecaps FC
15 years, 327 days
Gianluca Busio
Sporting KC
16 years, 68 days
Nikolas Besagno
16 years, 201 days
Diego Fagundez
NE Revolution
16 years, 229 days