A year ago, not many foresaw the role Daniel Salloi would play in Sporting Kansas City’s 2017 season. But when Dom Dwyer was traded to Orlando City in midseason, a young man stepped forth to stake his claim.

Dwyer’s last goal with Sporting came in the same game where Salloi scored his first, a 4-0 rout of Minnesota United in the US Open Cup. Salloi ended up playing in nearly every match from there on out, including the Open Cup final, where he came off the bench to score the eventual game-winner.

“I thought he had a breakout season last year, personally,” said KC manager Peter Vermes. “I think [now] it’s going to be about him picking up from where he left off last year.”

Before Salloi scored that cup-winning goal, Peter Vermes believed the Homegrown could play a big role in their season.

“I thought he would be an interesting player for us last year,” said Vermes. “I always thought he would fit into our system.”

Salloi went on loan to Gyirmot FC in his native Hungary during the 2016 season, in search of playing time and development. He was also hoping to catch the eye of the Hungarian national team set-up. It didn’t quite work out that way, but his 2017 season caught their eye anyways, as he was called up to the U-21 national team last fall.

“They called me through the year, but it’s hard to go home,” said Salloi. “I’m happy that I could go. It was a great feeling playing for the national team.”

Salloi was called in again for the U-21s’ matches vs. Cyprus and Belgium in March.

“We are doing well for the Euro qualifiers. We are tied for second place,” said Salloi. “So if we do well, we have a good chance to qualify for the [U-21] Euros.”

Back stateside, plenty are rooting for Salloi to make a big breakout in 2018. Sporting defender and captain Matt Besler believes he’s proved he can contribute in a big way.

“So far his attitude has been great,” said Besler. “I’m looking forward to, and expecting big things from, Daniel.”

Will 2018 be the year Daniel Salloi becomes a household MLS name?

“That’s what I’m hoping for,” said the 21-year-old, “and I think I’m in a good place for that.”