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Beyond The Box Score: Felipe Hernandez the newest Homegrown to gain MLS experience

Felipe Hernandez knows a thing or two about patience and perseverance.

Sporting Kansas City's freshly minted Homegrown midfielder signed his first MLS contract at the end of August, more than five years after joining the Sporting KC Academy and three years after inking his first deal with the Swope Park Rangers in the USL Championship.

The 21-year-old was nevertheless rewarded by Sporting's technical staff when he became the club's 12th Homegrown Player last month. And as fate would have it, he wouldn't have to wait nearly as long to make his debut in Major League Soccer.

In the 85th minute of Saturday's 2-1 loss to the Portland Timbers at Providence Park, Hernandez replaced Gerso Fernandez for his maiden MLS appearance.