Gregg Berhalter's Excited by Gianluca Busio Play in Serie A

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Alessandro Sabattini / Contributor

The U.S. men's national team returns to action this October with its second trio of Concacaf World Cup Qualifying matches, and Gregg Berhalter's inclusion of one rising European talent should have many American fans excited after his strong start to life across the pond. 

Gianluca Busio made his mark in MLS with Sporting Kansas City and eventually earned a move to Serie A club Venezia FC.

After excelling for the USMNT during this summer's Gold Cup triumph, Busio has quickly earned a starting role with the Italian side and was chosen as one of 27 players by Berhalter to represent his country this October.

Busio's absence from the September slate of matches wasn't a major shock due to his recent move from the United States to Italy, but now with five appearances and over 400 Serie A minutes under his belt, the 19-year-old will be expected to perform for the USMNT if called upon against Jamaica, Panama, or Costa Rica.

“Man, I love what he’s been doing," Berhalter said in a press conference Wednesday. "He’s really been adapting well, you can see he’s a super smart player. I commented that in the Gold Cup, he plays like an older player.

"That’s what I’m seeing in Serie A at well. He’s not fazed, he’s competing. Just doing a really good job adapting, you can see he’s already important to the team.”

Busio made 70 appearances for SKC during his MLS career, scoring eight goals and registering nine assists from an attacking-midfield position.

His versatility has been on display at Venezia, a team who is struggling for consistent results at the moment, featuring mainly as a No. 6 in midfield, but having the ability to race around the field and play hard with or without possession. 

The former MLS Homegrown talent has quickly emerged as a regular starter for Venezia, and will now look to pair up with other midfield stars in the USMNT squad, such as Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams, Yunus Musah, and Brenden Aaronson.

Busio's role for the USMNT could change slightly with experienced options like McKennie and Adams likely to start in the heart of Berhalter's formation, but the head coach backs him to deliver in whatever role he is used in.

“For us, we see him being able to perform," Berhalter said. "We won’t hesitate to put him in. We know we need rotation, we know we need people who can start the game and also make an impact coming off the bench. We think he’s going to be a contributor this camp.”

The USMNT has four points earned so far in World Cup Qualifying, concluding its September window with a 4-1 road win over Honduras.

With a pair of home games in Austin and Columbus, the Americans will be expected to end its October window in a much-higher place in the Concacaf octagonal standings than it did in early September. 

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