GI's Buriano hoping to continue soccer career in Europe

By Pat Murray / Niagara Gazette

At an age when most high school students have their minds focused on the junior prom or getting a part-time job, Grand Island's Sergio Buriano is thinking about a full-time job -- playing professional soccer in Europe.

The son of former Buffalo Stallions soccer player Ernie Buriano, Sergio, 17, will be leaving Grand Island on Oct. 17 as he heads to Italy in an attempt to make it with one of the many professional teams in Italy.

"I'm excited about it," Sergio said. "If I'm good enough, I stay; if not, I come back here."

This won't be the first time Sergio has played soccer in Italy. His club team -- Buffalo Premier Futbol Club -- traveled there this summer. It was during those games that he was able to impress some of the top brass of Italian club teams. He has since attended some tryouts over there.

Ernie Buriano is supportive of his son's efforts.

"This is a great opportunity for him," he said. "If things don't work out, he can always come back and go to school. That's the great thing about America -- you can attend school when you're older."

Sergio will be following in the footsteps of his father, who left school to pursue a pro career in his native Argentina.

"He's given me a lot of advice and he's been very supportive," Sergio said. "I've been raised that you should go when you're young so that you be able to develop."

Buriano is one of the main reasons the Vikings are battling for the top spot in the Niagara Frontier League. He has nine goals on the season, including one in Wednesday's 3-0 win over Niagara-Wheatfield. The Vikings are 9-3-1 overall and 8-1-1 in the NFL.