Sporting Kansas City suffered defeat to FC Dallas in Sunday's regular season finale at Toyota Stadium, closing the curtains on a 2019 campaign that will see the side miss the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2010.
Although Sporting's eight-year postseason streak is over, the final chapter of 2019 carried historical significance that elicits optimism for the future.
Indeed, Sunday marked the first time ever that four Homegrown Players started for Sporting Kansas City in a competitive match.
Forward Daniel Salloi was the most experienced of the bunch, logging his 79th career regular season appearance. Seventeen-year-old wunderkind Gianluca Busio took the field for his 29th MLS match and his 10th start of an impressive 2019 campaign. Midfielder Felipe Hernandez earned his first career MLS start, having debuted from off the bench a month earlier, and defender Jaylin Lindsey made his first league appearance of the year after overcoming a long-term knee injury.
A banner day for @SportingKC as 4️⃣ Homegrown Players start in a competitive match for the first time in club history.— SKC Matchday (@SKCmatchday) October 6, 2019
Go get 'em, @Fe1ipe98, @gbusio13, @JaylinLindsey & @danielsalloi! 👊#PathwayToThePros // #ForGloryForCity#DALvSKC pic.twitter.com/lvc6ieMZoB
With a challenging year in the books, Manager Peter Vermes and Sporting Kansas City will regroup this fall and prepare for Major League Soccer's 25th season in 2020.
Sporting will once again contest for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and aim to kickstart yet another long MLS playoff streak as Children's Mercy Parks opens the doors for its 10th season.
Inter Miami CF and Nashville SC will enter as the league's 25th and 26th teams, giving Sporting two first-time opponents.