The United States started their CONCACAF Gold Cup journey on Sunday night at a less than packed Children’s Mercy Park. Sporting Kansas City’s Gianluca Busio wouldn’t be in the starting lineup, though he would get on the field before the night was over.
TIME TO GO!— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) July 11, 2021
Here’s the #USMNT Starting XI for tonight’s @GoldCup opener vs. .
LINEUP NOTES » https://t.co/wfGpekUQl9 pic.twitter.com/IC2jrxFi62
The US would get on the board early against Haiti with a quick goal. A cross was sent into the box after a good buildup from Walker Zimmerman to Kelyn Acosta who found Shaq Moore. Moore then send a ball into Gyasi Zardes got a foot on and it bounced up for Sam Vines who headed it home to put the United States into the lead.
GOAL #USMNT! Sam Vines heads the U.S. in front early as part of a wide-open Gold Cup opener. 1-0!— Planet Fútbol (@si_soccer) July 12, 2021
(via @TUDNUSA) pic.twitter.com/CHKxROiLO2
After the USA goal the Men’s National Team lost their rhythm a bit after Paul Arriola went down injured. He was replaced by Kansas City native Nicholas Gioacchini. There weren’t a ton of good chances for either team for the rest of the half and the US was up 1-0 at the half.
The second half got off to a hot start with Gioacchini causing lots of trouble up the right side of the field drawing a yellow card and then just missing a chance to put the US up by two.
The @USMNT was THIS close to making it 2-0 against Haiti pic.twitter.com/qzxJ6qj7BG— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) July 12, 2021
But the story of the night for Kansas City fans was the Senior team debut of SKC midfielder, Gianluca Busio. The simple act of him trotting towards the coaching staff to get his jersey on had the crowed exploding. Then when he came on it was possibly the biggest eruption of the night.
#SportingKC 's Gianluca Busio making his #USMNT debut and @cmpark is going nuts. pic.twitter.com/KP8nuQ38Ux— Chad Smith (@PlayFor90) July 12, 2021
After that, every time he touched the ball the stadium popped. His first touch was errant, but from there out he was the Busio you all know and love. Calm. Steady on the ball. And playing beyond his years.
It was almost a magical debut, as even though he was playing the 6, he nearly got himself a goal. He sent a rocket towards the keeper which took a leaping keeper to push it away.
Busio almost did that... pic.twitter.com/ZvcLlbpmn7— Major League Soccer (@MLS) July 12, 2021
After the near miss Sporting KC fans got a scare. Busio was taken down hard in the midfield by Nazon and he bent back awkwardly. Luckily he was only down for a bit before jogging off the field and shortly later rejoining the team.
Ultimately, the United States would close out the 1-0 victory after putting on a third center back (James Sands) and going to a five in the back with Acosta switching to right back and Erik Williamson joining the midfield with Busio and Sebastian Lletget.
The US are back in action on Thursday at 8:30 PM CST against Martinique who suffered a 4-1 loss to Canada early tonight.