Busio returns to action, but can’t keep Venezia from painful defeat

Busio returns to action, but can’t keep Venezia from painful defeat

When Gianluca Busio was forced out at halftime of Venezia’s recent 3-1 loss to Sassuolo with an injury, there was some concern it might cost him an extended period of action. The American midfielder shook it off and returned to the field on Tuesday, but wasn’t able to keep Venezia from enduring another painful defeat.

Busio started and played 90 minutes in Tuesday’s 2-1 loss to Salernitana, a clash of newly-promoted teams that Venezia led early on, but lost in the dying moments on a last-minute game-winning goal.

Busio was one of the Venezia players caught ball-watching on the winning goal, which capped a Salernitana onslaught in the final 25 minutes following the red-card ejection of Venezia midfielder Ethan Ampadou.

Whether or not he was fully recovered from the knock he suffered on Saturday, Busio endured one his worst showings for Venezia since arriving in the summer. The teenager has settled into a regular starting role for the Venice club, and was one of the team’s best players in September.

The defeat was a brutal one for a Venezia side trying to avoid automatic relegation after earning promotion last summer. Salernitana entered the match in last place in Serie A, but has now closed the gap on 16th-place Venezia to one point.

The good news for Busio is that he was able to return to action right away, which bodes well for staying in contention to be called up by the U.S. men’s national team for the November World Cup qualifiers against Mexico and Jamaica. He is currently facing a difficult fight for playing time with Weston McKennie and Yunus Musah establishing themselves as Gregg Berhalter’s first-choice options in central midfield, and Tyler Adams set in the defensive midfield role. That said, Busio should still be one of Berhalter’s midfielder choices for the roster, having shown well in his one appearance during the October qualifiers,  in a second-half shift in the 2-1 win against Costa Rica.

Venezia faces another crucial battle of relegation-zone clubs on Saturday, traveling to face current 18th-place Genoa.

What did you think of Busio’s performance on Tuesday? See him taking on a bigger role for the USMNT in November?

Share your thoughts below.