1st place SKC shows grit in 1-1 split with Rapids

Gianluca Busio
Posted at 5:28 AM, Aug 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-30 16:48:54-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Sporting KC’s young players continue to blossom.

After two starters went down with injuries in Saturday’s first half at Colorado, ‘The Academy’ was asked to shoulder the load.

Despite an early one-goal deficit, SKC held serve, scoring in the 67th minute off the boot of 18-year-old homegrown player Gianluca Busio, leaving Colorado with a crucial point and a comfortable seat atop the Western Conference.

“Each game, I think he gets better and better,” said manager Peter Vermes. “The goal was a great strike, and he has that quality in him.”

“As I took that touch I knew I was shooting,” Busio said of his first goal of 2020. “I'm happy I can get a goal.”

Roger Espinoza left the match in the 15th minute after a hamstring injury and was replaced by homegrown midfielder Felipe Hernandez. Vermes said extended minutes for young players is part of the club's management of a "complex schedule."

“Those guys are holding their own,” Vermes said.

Colorado played with a man advantage after Gadi Kinda was sent off in the 78th minute on a second yellow card.

“[To] be able to close it out being a man down showed a lot of grit for the team,” Vermes fished.

Sporting faces FC Dallas Wednesday at Children’s Mercy Park.