"It’s definitely younger, it's got more pace to it, and it’s going to be a hungry group."
That's how Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes described his 2017 squad earlier this year. After a disappointing finish to 2016, Vermes overhauled his roster, bringing in dynamic players across the front line to breathe new life into a squad that was one of the oldest in Major League Soccer last year. One of those attackers was Latif Blessing, the Ghanaian first division MVP with a nose for the goal despite his small stature. Another one of those players was Daniel Salloi, who despite signing a first team contract in January 2016, spent most of the year on loan to a first division side in Hungary.
The two attackers rewarded Vermes's faith. In 58 appearances in all competitions, Blessing and Salloi combined for 12 goals and four assists including both goals in a 2-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls in the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Championship.
On Tuesday, Goal.com released its 2017 MLS U-21 Best XI. In a season where young players were seeing minutes at a record pace, Salloi and Blessing were two that stood out to longtime soccer scribe Ives Galarcep. Both players were named to the Best XI Honorable Mention.
Click here to see the complete Best XI and read Galarcep's thoughts on the young strikers.