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Academy products score all four goals in Sporting's victorious preseason opener

By Sam Kovzan, 01/25/20, 4:30PM CST


Gianluca Busio scores twice in Sporting's 4-0 preseason win

Saturday’s 4-0 win over a team of Phoenix Rising FC trialists had a distinct Sporting Kansas City Academy flair to it.

Forward Daniel Salloi opened the scoring, 17-year-old Gianluca Busio bagged a brace and Wilson Harris struck late as Academy products accounted for all four goals in Sporting’s routine victory to open the 2020 preseason, presented by Children’s Mercy.

A fifth Academy product, 17-year-old Tyler Freeman, also etched his name into the box score by assisting Busio’s brilliant second tally at Casino Arizona Field in Tempe, Arizona.

The preseason curtain raiser was divided into three 30-minute periods as Manager Peter Vermes gave playing time to 31 different players. Among them, 11 hailed from Sporting’s Academy. Salloi, Busio, Harris and Freeman were joined on the pitch at various stages by defenders Jaylin Lindsey, Felipe Hernandez, Cameron Duke, Kaveh Rad, Tucker Lepley, Jake Davis and Wan Kuzain.

Salloi made his impact as the lone starter of the bunch, slotting home in the 23rd minute off a feed from newly acquired Mexican striker Alan Pulido. Busio then stole the show during the middle third of the match, cleaning up a goalmouth scramble before unleashing a stunner on Freeman’s assist. Harris, a USL Championship player who topped Sporting II’s goal charts last year, rounded out a banner day for the Academy with a cool finish on 70 minutes.

Of the 11 Academy players to take the field, seven are inked to MLS Homegrown contracts on Sporting’s first team: Salloi, Busio, Freeman, Lindsey, Hernandez, Duke and Kuzain. Harris and Rad are under USL Championship contract with Sporting II, while Lepley and Davis have yet to sign professionally despite featuring for Sporting II last season.

Academy Products in 4-0 win over Phoenix Rising FC Trialists:

Sporting will close out the first leg of their preseason campaign next Saturday, Feb. 1, facing fellow MLS side FC Cincinnati at Grande Sports World in Casa Grande, Arizona. Kickoff is slated for noon CT.