Gianluca Busio failed to make much an impression in his usual attacking role for Sporting Kansas City at the MLS is Back Tournament. But since Sporting has returned home, the 18-year-old has played every minute. But those 270 minutes have come in deep central midfield, not in an attacking spot.
He earned rave reviews after his first start in the spot — a 2-1 win over Minnesota United FC — but was a part of a Sporting side that lost 5-2 to the Houston Dynamo on Tuesday. On Saturday, he scored his first goal of 2020 (watch above) as he helped SKC earn a point against the Colorado Rapids.
"He had a good performance. Each game he gets better and better. The goal was a great strike and he has that quality in him so it was good to see it," head coach Peter Vermes said after the match.
"Each time he's getting to be smarter and smarter, both in some of the decisions that he's making both with the ball and without it so it's good," he later added.
Full Busio highlights vs. Rapids
Busio completed 87% of his 31 passes, won all seven of his duels and chipped in seven tackles. The US youth international was linked to multiple European clubs towards the end of last year and figures to be a major figure for the US Under-20's as they aim to begin preparations for the 2021 World Cup.
"I'm liking [the position change] a lot. It's a good thing to just be on the field and help the team get points," said Busio after the match. "If I can do that from any position I enjoy it and obviously I've enjoyed this position a lot. The game is in front of you and I can pick out passes and hit more shots like the one I scored. Obviously I'm liking it a lot and hopefully I can keep on improving at that position if need be."