Efrain Alvarez, Gianluca Busio, Giovanni Reyna named among world's best young stars

Three players with ties to Major League Soccer clubs have been named among the top young talents in the world, all as part of The Guardian’s latest “Next Generation” annual report.

The 2019 version includes LA Galaxy attacking midfielder Efrain Alvarez, Sporting Kansas City midfielder Gianluca Busio and New York City FC academy product Giovanni Reyna. All three are set to feature at the upcoming FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil, with Alvarez on Mexico and Busio and Reyna representing the US

This is the first time since 2017 that an MLS player made the list, as that year’s version included Atlanta United midfielder Andrew Carleton and Vancouver Whitecaps’ winger Alphonso Davies. It also had now-US men’s national team forward Timothy Weah and Inter Miami CF midfielder Christian Makoun. Meanwhile, the 2018 version included US youth international Konrad de la Fuente (Barcelona).

Alvarez, 17, had three assists in 14 appearances this season. The Homegrown Player has been mentored by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has sung the youngster’s praises.

Busio, 17, had three goals and one assist in 22 appearances for SKC this year. The North Carolina native and Homegrown Player also featured in Concacaf Champions League matches this season.

Reyna, 16, helped NYCFC win a U-19 Development Academy championship before signing with Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund this past summer. Reyna’s father, Claudio, is the sporting director for NYCFC and a former captain of the USMNT.


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