Gianluca Busio runs after Qatar defender Abdelkarim Hassanm in the Gold Cup semifinals. (Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports)
Another American is heading to Italy’s Serie A.
Sporting Kansas City announced Thursday that the club transferred 19-year-old midfielder Gianluca Busio to Venezia FC in, pending a physical and personal terms.
Busio has joined Venezia in a club-record deal after spending five seasons in Kansas City.
The MLS club reportedly will receive a base from the transfer and up to $11 million in extra incentives.
“Gianluca has embodied all of the core values we look for in a player,” SKC head coach and sporting director Peter Vermes said in a statement. “He has consistently put the team first while demonstrating tremendous professionalism and an unwavering commitment to improving his game and helping the club win. Gianluca is a special talent with outstanding character, and we wish him nothing but the best at Venezia.”
Busio will join the likes of fellow U.S. men’s national team players Weston McKennie (Juventus) and Bryan Reynolds (AS Roma) in the Italian first division. He most recently helped the USA capture the Concacaf Gold Cup.
“This is a very proud moment for me and my family,” Busio said in a statement. “I’d like to thank everyone who has made it possible, especially all the people at Sporting KC who have helped me become the player and person I am today. Sporting will always have a special place in my heart and I’m grateful to have started my career at such an amazing club. The people, the fans, the city – everything about Kansas City was perfect and it will always feel like home. This is the next step in my career and I’m really excited to join Venezia.”
Busio has recorded eight goals and nine assists in 70 appearances for Sporting across all competitions. The Greensboro, N.C. native joined the Sporting Kansas City Academy in 2016 and signed a Homegrown Player contract with the club at age 15 in August 2017. He made his MLS debut as a 16-year-old in July 2018 and went on to become the second youngest player in MLS history to record an assist (Aug. 4, 2018) and score a goal (Oct. 17, 2018) in his first full season.
He enjoyed a breakout 2019 campaign, tallying three goals and an assist in 26 matches across all competitions, and became a regular starter in 2020 with an additional two goals and four assists as Sporting finished atop the Western Conference. In the first round of the MLS Cup Playoffs last November, Busio became the youngest player in league history to score a goal and record an assist in a postseason match as Sporting eliminated the San Jose Earthquakes at Children’s Mercy Park.
The 2021 campaign has seen Busio amass two goals, three assists and start 13 regular season matches for a Sporting side that occupies first place in the Western Conference. He bagged the opening goals in Sporting’s 1-1 draw with Orlando on April 23 and 3-2 victory over Houston on May 29, with the latter earning AT&T MLS Goal of the Week honors as Busio became the league’s second youngest player to score directly from a free kick. Through his final appearance on July 4, he led the team in minutes (1,152), chances created (20), tackles won (22), duels won (76) and recoveries (97).