Over the course of the last several weeks, midfielder Felipe Hernandez has emerged as a serious breakout candidate for the 2020 season.

The 22-year-old Sporting Kansas City Academy product and Homegrown Player has come off the bench in each of the club’s last four matches in all competitions, showcasing his work rate, technical quality and tactical nous as a box-to-box trailblazer.

Hernandez has a special backstory, as well, as he became the first player to progress along Sporting’s full professional pathway—from Academy Affiliate to Academy standout to Sporting Kansas City II star to first team contributor.

The Colombia native moved with his family to Tennessee at a young age and played for Academy Affiliate club Sporting Nashville Heroes before joining the Sporting KC Academy in 2014. He then made the jump to the USL Championship, notably receiving Sporting KC II most valuable player honors in 2019, prior to signing as a Homegrown Player and earning minutes at the MLS level.

On Tuesday, Hernandez was the star of the show in the newest episode of The Nutmeg Podcast with 610 Sports Radio host Josh Klingler. Hernandez was one of five Homegrown Players—alongside Gianluca Busio, Cameron Duke, Jaylin Lindsey and Daniel Salloi—to feature in Tuesday night’s home game against the Houston Dynamo, marking the first time ever that Sporting fielded five Academy products in a competitive match.

Listen to the full podcast below.

Previous episodes of The Nutmeg Podcast