Busio and Reyna headline USMNT U-17 squad for World Cup qualifying

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John Dorton
The Sporting Kansas City standout leads the U.S. Under-17 national team squad that will vie for the Concacaf Championship in May

Sporting Kansas City standout Gianluca Busio and star midfielder Giovanni Reyna headline the United States Under-17 squad that will compete in the upcoming Concacaf Championships.

U.S. Under-17 coach Raphael Wicky has called in a strong squad for the World Cup qualifying tournament, which begins May 1 in Bradenton, Florida, with the Americans opening against Canada on May 2.

“I’m very excited about the team we’ve put together for this World Cup qualifying tournament,” Wicky said. “There’s a lot of very good quality in this group. We brought together a strong roster for the mini-camp earlier this month, and now we’ve added a few more pieces with a lot of good characteristics. The players have brought a great mentality and we’re excited and ready for a number of interesting games ahead.”

After playing Canada, the Americans take on Barbados on May 4 before finishing Group F play against Guatemala on May 6. The top three teams in each tournament group qualifies for the Round of 16, with the four tournament semifinalists securing berths in the Under-17 World Cup, which will take place in October in Brazil.

The group is led by Busio, who has been in outstanding form with Sporting Kansas City. The 16-year-old midfielder has recently gone on a streak of scoring goals in three straight matches, becoming the youngest player in MLS history to score in consecutive matches.

Reyna, a New York City FC academy product and son of former USMNT captain Claudio Reyna, is currently listed as unattached, but has been training at Borussia Dortmund's youth academy ahead of a formal move to the Bundesliga club.

Also on the team are Seattle Sounders academy stars Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez and Daniel Leyva, who are coming off leading the Sounders U-17 team to the Generation Adidas Cup title in the Champions Division, making it the first North American team to win the title.

Here is the 20-player U.S. Under-17 roster for the Concacaf Under-17 Championships:

GOALKEEPERS:1-Damian Las (Chicago Fire; Norridge, Ill.), 12-Chituru Odunze (Vancouver Whitecaps FC/CAN; Calgary, Alta.)

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DEFENDERS:4-Axel Alejandre (FC United; Chicago, Ill.), 3-Adam Armour (North Carolina FC; Cary, N.C.), 13-Mauricio Cuevas (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), 14-Tayvon Gray (New York City FC; Bronx, N.Y.), 5-Kobe Hernandez (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), 2-Joseph Scally (New York City FC; Lake Grove, N.Y.), 15-John Tolkin (New York Red Bulls; Chatham, N.J.)

MIDFIELDERS:7-Gianluca Busio (Sporting Kansas City; Greensboro, N.C.), 20-Gilbert Fuentes (San Jose Earthquakes; Tracy, Calif.), 8-Bryang Kayo (D.C. United; Poolesville, Md.), 6-Daniel Leyva (Seattle Sounders FC; Las Vegas, Nev.), 16-Adam Saldana (LA Galaxy; Panorama City, Calif.)

FORWARDS:18-Jack de Vries (Philadelphia Union; Wayne, Pa.), 17-Tyler Freeman (Sporting Kansas City; Shawnee, Kan.), 19-Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez (Tacoma Defiance; Kent, Wash.), 9-Ricardo Pepi (North Texas SC; McKinney, Texas), 10-Giovanni Reyna (Unattached; Bedford, N.Y.), 11-Griffin Yow (D.C. United; Clifton, Va.)

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