Commentary

Rising Stars: Busio, Reyna, Gaines and Co., shoot U.S. U-15 boys into Concacaf final

By Mike Woitalla

The USA outscored its first four foes 15-2 to reach the final of the Concacaf U-15 Championship in Bradenton, Florida. On Saturday, Coach Dave Van Den Bergh’s team faces Mexico, a 3-0 semifinal winner over Canada.

Sporting Kansas City’s Gianluca Busio scored five goals, two each in wins over Canada (2-0) and Trinidad & Tobago (6-1), and he scored the final goal of a 3-0 semifinal win over Panama.

Busio, who hails from Greensboro, North Carolina, moved to Sporting KC’s youth program from the North Carolina Fusion in 2016. He played three games for the U-14s in the 2016-17 season before moving up to the U-16/17s and earned Central Conference Best XI honors. Busio lives with a host family in Kansas City.

NYCFC midfielder Giovanni Reyna, the son of Hall of Famer Claudio Reyna, opened the scoring in the win over T&T and set up the first U.S. goal in the victory over Costa Rica with a free kick headed in by Joseph Scally.

Reyna, the team captain, figured in all three goals against Panama. He scored the first with a 22-yard left-footed shot, delivered a low pass from the right wing for Julian Gaines to tap in close range, and sent in the cross that Busio finished spectacularly with a side-volley. Reyna also hit the crossbar late in the game.


U.S. U-15 captain Giovanni Reyna (Photo courtesy of Concacaf)

Lonestar SC’s Gaines, the younger brother of McKinze Gaines, now with German second division SV Darmstadt, in addition to his semifinal goal, scored the second goal against the Ticos before a strike from Mason Judge and a Costa Rica own goal.

Note: Games played 35-minute halves.

Aug. 13
USA 2 Canada 0
Goals: Gianluca Busio 34, 35.
USA lineup — Las; Scally (Anderson, 67), Judge, Alejandre, Bello (Ocampo Chavez, 62); Stroud, Atencio (Nielsen, 62), Fuentes (Garica, 55); Reyna, (Mangarov, 55), Busio, Gaines (Saldana, 62).

Aug. 14
USA 6 Trinidad & Tobago 0
Goals: Giovanni Reyna (pen.) 2, own goal-Antonio Chee Ting 4, Alfonso Ocampo Chavez 9, Gianluca Busio 39, 70, Cesar Reyes 68.
USA lineup — Las (Harms, 36); Anderson, Judge (Alejandre, 36), Nielsen, Bello (Scally, 42); Saldana (Atencio, 60), Garcia, Fuentes (Gaines, 36); Reyna (Busio, 36), Ocampo Chavez, Mangarov (Stroud, 55).

Aug. 16
USA 4 Costa Rica 1
Goals: Joseph Scally 20, Julian Gaines 44, Mason Judge 51, own goal-Sergio Cespedes 62; Geancarlo Castro 8.
USA lineup — Las; Scally (Anderson, 55), Judge, Alejandre, Bello (Nielsen, 55); Atencio (Stroud, 45), Garcia (Saldana, 45), Fuentes; Reyna (Mangarov, 55), Ocampo-Chavez (Gaines, 36), Busio.

Aug. 17
Semifinals
Mexico 3 Canada 0
Goals: Andres Sebastian Tellez 24, Sergio Alejandro Gamez 36, Kevin Ariel Ortega 51.
USA 3 Panama 0
Goals: Giovanni Reyna 5, Julian Gaines 35, Gianluca Busio 36.
USA starting lineup -- Las, Scally, Judge, Alejandre, Bello, Saldana, Reyna, Gaines, Atencio, Fuentes, Busio.

Aug. 19
Final
USA-Mexico
(TV: Univision Deportes on Sunday, Aug. 20: 10 am ET)

U.S. U-15 boys national team
GOALKEEPERS (2): JT Harms (Shattuck-Saint Mary's; Faribault, Minn.), Damian Las (Chicago Fire; Norridge, Ill.).
DEFENDERS (6): Axel Alejandre (FC United Soccer Club; Chicago, Ill.), George Bello (Atlanta United; Douglasville, Ga.), Mitch Eise (Sporting Kansas City; Springfield, Mo.), Mason Judge (Chargers Soccer Club; Tampa, Fla.), Kenny Nielsen (Pateadores; Irvine, Calif.), Joseph Scally (New York City FC; Lake Grove, N.Y.).
MIDFIELDERS (5): Josh Atencio (Seattle Sounders; Seattle, Wash.), Gilbert Fuentes (San Jose Earthquakes; Tracy, Calif.), Cesar Garcia (FC Dallas; Dallas, Texas), Adam Saldana (Real So Cal; Panorama City, Calif.), Peter Stroud (New York Red Bulls; Chester, N.J.).
FORWARDS (5): Gianluca Busio (Sporting Kansas City; Greensboro, N.C.), Julian Gaines (Lonestar Soccer Club; Austin, Texas), Daniel Mangarov (Atlanta United; Duluth, Ga.), Alfonso Ocampo Chavez (Seattle Sounders; Fresno, Calif.), Giovanni Reyna (New York City FC; Bedford, N.Y.).

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Californian Edwin Lara debuts for Pachuca

Edwin Lara, a 17-year-old Northern California product who moved to Mexico in 2014, started and played the full 90 minutes in Pachuca’s 1-0 Copa MX win at Querétaro on Tuesday. It marked his debut for Pachuca’s first team in a competitive game. Lara played for the U.S. U-17 national team before moving to Pachuca and switching to Mexico, for which he played at the 2015 U-17 World Cup.

The left-footed outside back was part of Pachuca’s U-20 Mexican league national championship team last year and was named to The Guardian's Next Generation 2016, a list of 60 top young international players. Lara grew up in San Leandro, California and played for the Hayward Tecos before joining the Juventus Sport Club. He also had stints with the San Jose Earthquakes and the De Anza Force before joining Pachuca.

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Roster: U.S. U-17 girls to face England

Coach Mark Carr  has called up 24 players for the U.S. U-17 girls national team camp Aug. 20-27 in Portland, Oregon, that will include two friendlies against England Aug. 23 and Aug. 26.

Fourteen players of the players were a part of the U.S. team that finished second at CFA International U-16 Women’s Tournament in June in China.

“Since the China trip, we’ve been highly motivated and ready to get back together,” said Carr. “We learned a lot about ourselves in China and our focus for this camp will be to address some areas for improvement, but also to build on some of the great things we did over there. It’s still early in our cycle, and with a few players getting called to the U-19 WNT, it will be another chance for everyone to perform and help the team be successful. As always, our ultimate goals are to keep testing ourselves, keeping improving as individuals and as a team, and to get two positive results against what is sure to be a tough and talented England team.”

Carr’s team is in the middle of the first year of a two-year cycle during which it aims to qualify for the 2018 U-17 Women’s World Cup in Uruguay.

U.S. U-17 girls national team
GOALKEEPERS (3): Angelina Anderson (Mustang SC; Danville, Calif.), Ryan Campbell (So Cal Blues; Dana Point, Calif.), Lindsey Romig (Richmond United; Midlothian, Va.).
DEFENDERS (7): Michela Agresti (FC Stars of Mass.; Swampscott, Mass.), Talia DellaPeruta (Tophat SC; Cumming, Ga.), Tori Hansen (CASL; Raleigh, N.C.), Makenna Morris (Bethesda SC; Germantown, Md.), Nicole Payne (Concord; Birmingham, Ala.), Natalia Staude (Tophat SC; Atlanta, Ga.), Leah Scarpelli (Cedar Stars; Brick, N.J.).
MIDFIELDERS (7): Hanna Bebar (Eclipse Select; Naperville, Ill.), Croix Bethune (Concord Fire SC; Alpharetta, Ga.), Maya Doms (Davis Legacy; Davis, Calif.), Mia Fishel (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.), Eleanor Glenn (Tophat SC; Avondale Estates, Ga.), Sophia Jones (San Jose Earthquakes; Menlo Park, Calif.), Margaret Pierce (CASL; Cary, N.C.).
FORWARDS (7): Ainsley Ahmadian (Eclipse Select; Naperville, Ill.), Isabella D'Aquila (So Cal Blues; Mission Viejo, Calif.), Sunshine Fontes (Hawaii Rush; Wahiawa, Hawaii), Lia Godfrey (JFC Storm; Fleming Island, Fla.), Payton Linnehan (FC Stars of Mass.; Douglas, Mass.), Diana Ordonez (FC Dallas; Prosper, Texas), Trinity Rodman (So Cal Blues; Newport Beach, Calif.).

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