Considering Jeff Okudah was the third overall draft pick in 2020, his first two seasons in the NFL were quite poor to say the least. In fact, many people were already quick to throw around the word "bust" when mentioning his name. Towards the end of his rookie season, Okudah ranked dead last in yards allowed per route, and according...
Young MLS Players That Could Play in the Qatar World Cup for the USMNT
By: Haider Paroya
Today we are starting a new series of Young US players that could potentially make the 23 man squad at the 2022 Qatar World Cup. Every week we will have a breakdown of US player under 23 years old, examining their strengths, weaknesses, and how they can contribute to the national team. As well as showing some key highlights from recent games.
Gianluca Busio (age 18) plays in the midfield for Sporting KC. Busio has recently been promoted to the starting-11 due to the injury of teammate Illie Sanchez. Busio has one goal and three assists so far this season in 10 matches. Busio is still a raw talent as of right now and still lacks in decision making and confidence to play more creatively and aggressively. However, Busio is improving incredibly fast, and as he becomes more comfortable in the SKC starting-11, he will develop into a dangerous weapon in the midfield for the USMNT.
In 2019, Busio played in all three games for the USMNT in the U-17 World Cup and scored the only U.S. goal of the tournament. He was also selected to the U-17 Concacaf Championship Best XI, scoring five goals and adding three assists. Busio is garnering attention from top leagues, Milan, Juventus, and Fiorentina from Serie A have all expressed interest in Busio, with Fiorentina offering a transfer for $4 million for the 18-year-old. Sporting KC refused this offer and said that they would not let Busio go for anything less than $13 million.
Busio is definitely a youngster who you should keep your eye on that could develop enough by the time Qatar comes to make it on the 23 man squad.
- Very versatile in the midfield
- Busio can do a great job whether its more of an attacking role or if he's playing more of a holding midfield role
- Work Rate
- Busio has a tremendous work rate and has proven that he can still run hard for 90 minutes. (example below)
- Gianluca Busio has only truly been a starter during this MLS season and this will be fixed in time, but due to not having much starts under his belt Busio will sometimes play too safe and not be aggressive enough attacking albite his skillset
- Busio, although just 18 years old, lacks a physical presence in the midfield and can get muscled off the ball quite easily, as his games focuses on the more technical skills.
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