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Blue Links: Busio among top young players in the world

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MLS: San Jose Earthquakes at Sporting Kansas City Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning! Let’s get to all the news & updates from around Sporting KC and American soccer.

Busio named top young player in the world
Gianluca Busio comes in at #25 on a list released by a Swiss research group of players born in the year 2002 from around the world. The list was compiled based mainly on amount of experience. He joins a few other young American internationals like Sergino Dest & Gio Reyna.

ICYMI: SKC’s first three matches are set
April 17th is the first match of the season and will be at New York Red Bulls. The home opener is against Orlando City SC on April 23rd. Then Sporting KC will visit Real Salt Lake for their home opener on May 1st. Notably it’s rumored that the first three matches of the MLS season will determine the eight teams that qualify for the US Open Cup Round of 16.

Paywall: An MLS spot has opened up after Sacramento’s setback
The Athletic has an expansion update after the ownership in Sacramento decided to not pursue an MLS expansion team right now. Sounds like issues from the pandemic scared him off.

Johnny Russell: Preseason Spotlight
Check in with the 2020 team MVP and our new captain. The club has been doing a profile for each player on the roster this preseason. Also, here’s a video with Johnny Russell & Peter Vermes talking about his captaincy.

Busio not among 35 MLS players on Olympic qualifying rosters
The Olympic qualifying roster for the US U-23’s has been released and Busio will not be leaving us. For the Olympics, at least.

MLS Offseason Snapshot
Tracking all the transfers, rumors, & projected lineups from around Major League Soccer.

Sporting KC centerback questions
Doyle talks about the SKC central defense. Is Nicolas Isimat-Mirin enough to turn things around?

ICYMI: LA sign player formerly linked to SKC
Samuel Grandsir has signed with the LA Galaxy after rumors seemed to indicate he didn’t want to come to MLS when he was being linked with KC.

Exciting young striker decides to represent USMNT
Fans have been waiting a while to learn who Jordan Siebatcheu chose between the United States and France, this week he chose the yanks!

Is Dike the USMNT’s next star striker?
Speaking of American strikers... Orlando City’s loaned out striker Daryl Dike has been having an absolute blast at Barnsley.

Pulisic struggles to find playing time
Christian Pulisic has been seeing a lot of the bench at Chelsea FC after his old coach Thomas Tuchel joined the club. But Tuchel says, “He’s in my plans.”

Man City defender says Pulisic is the most difficult winger he’s faced
Manchester City’s Joao Cancelo was asked who was the most difficult winger he’s faced in the Premier League. His answer was American Christian Pulisic.

David Beckham still has that right foot: