A long-awaited opportunity for Sporting Kansas City homegrown defender Erik Palmer-Brown vanished before it even materialized this week.
Potentially in line for his first appearance of the season, Palmer-Brown has instead been ruled out for Saturday's match against the Montreal Impact with a thigh injury.
The timing is imperfect for Palmer-Brown, with a starting spot up in flux along the Sporting KC back line. The club will be without captain center back Matt Besler (U.S. national team duty), and backup Kevin Ellis (quadriceps injury) is questionable to play Saturday. The battle to start alongside Ike Opara, therefore, could have included either Palmer-Brown or newly-signed Amer Didic.
Palmer-Brown, 20, returned stateside Monday after captaining the United States Under-20 men's national team in the U-20 World Cup last month. But while he has seen a surge in his stock internationally, he has yet to make it onto the field this season with Sporting KC, his first year back with his hometown club after spending 2016 on loan with FC Porto in Portugal.
Palmer-Brown, a graduate of O'Hara High School, has not played in an MLS match since 2015.
Sporting KC plays host to the Montreal Impact at 7 p.m. Saturday at Children's Mercy Park.