What's in a number

To some it’s just a number. To others it’s a legacy. To Italian’s, the number 10 means a lot in the circles of soccer. It is considered a sacred number on all teams in Italy – especially the national team. If you are given the number 10, coaches are basically telling you that think you are a great player.

It the United States, the number 10 doesn’t mean as much – it doesn’t carry much weight. Maybe it’s because soccer is still trying to get a foot hold as one of the major sports in the country. But, if you talk to American soccer players that have Italian heritage they will let you know.

There are a lot of players in Western New York who wear the famed 10 jersey. And, if you ask them way they will tell you it’s an Italian thing. Even all the way down in youth soccer, kids are grabbing the fames number.

As most will tell you, wearing that number comes with a lot of pressure. Big things are expected from you won yon through that kit over your head and pull it down for the first time. The number carries a lot of weight and it normally reserved for a midfielder of forward.

The person who wears that number is expected to produce.

Trey Buscaglia knows a little about the pressure that comes with wearing that number. The Williamsville East High School junior leads the team in goals with 15 and had been one of the best players in Western New York.

He knows what it’s like to have to live up to the legacy of the fames jersey number.

“The number on your jersey means I take on the legacy and responsibilities of the person who wore it last,” stated Buscaglia. “To use that number means something and you have to respect it leaving everything on the field. Only I can be responsible for how I play not the jersey number.”

To say that Buscaglia has been living up to the expectation of the number has been an understatement. Buscaglia was a big reason why the Flames dethroned Hamburg for the ECIC Division II title. It was the first time the Bulldogs have not one the Division II title in three years.

Buscaglia was the main reason. Scoring 15 goals on the season, Buscaglia was the main product of a solid team around him. The midfield did their job, which made his job a lot easier.

“With my team being as good as it is I feel like I can always play my best with them,” explained Buscaglia. “They can give me great passes and they have great combination play with me. All the players on my team play and work hard on the field and this helps us be successful throughout the season.”

Off the field, Buscaglia is honing his skills with Global Premier Soccer (GPS). He has been a steady force for the past couple of years for his club team. He has been able to work on all aspects of his game – including having quicker feet.

Quick feet allows you to get that ball away quicker as defenders start converging on the ball. Just ask Messi how he is doing with his soccer career.

“Being able to have quick movements and quick reaction time in the box helps a lot. Being able to have quick body movements and quick feet give that one extra second of space to shoot or pass more easily,” stated Buscaglia. “What I have learned at GPS is that you have to be at your best to get the best out of everything. You have to take everything serious and take every practice likes it's a game, and that you don't know who is watching so you play your best. I learned that playing soccer is as much a mental game as physical game. You have to be able to think before the ball comes to you and decide where to best play the ball. GPS has always been a great club to play and train for. They have taught me how to be a leader on and off the field. I am proud to play for GPS.”

Being a striker is a lonely job. There are days, or games, that you just won’t score. It’s easier to get down on yourself, especially if the team doesn’t win games. But, it’s not all about scoring. A great striker can also help set up other players.

Someone like Buscaglia will draw double teams through the season. If he can’t get his goals, he will make sure he lays it off to someone else.

“Some games I don't always score or have chances on , but I still have to dig and grind to get that one moment in the game to change the game,” he said. “I can't get down in the dumps if I have one bad miss or bad pass because it happens to the best of us. I just keep my head high and do the best I can. I know I can always count on my teammates just like they can count on me to get the job done on the field and bring home a win.”

If the last name names sounds a familiar it should. His younger sister Bella is a standout on the powerhouse Williamsville East girls’ soccer team. She has turned it on this year as a freshman and the team is benefitting from it.

Like most siblings there is a little competitive nature – especially when both are scoring at a rate like the both are doing. Either way, big brother always supports his little sister – and it goes both ways.

“My sister, Bella Buscaglia, is a very good soccer player and the competitive aspect of our life can be very interesting. We always try to outscore and do better in each game then the other. We always come home after a game and compare who had more goals in a game, and who has the most goals overall. Although I will always respect how hard she works to help her team win,” stated Buscaglia. “I would have to say in some aspects of the game I feel like she is better but overall I think I am a better player.”