Sporting Kansas City manager hails history maker Latif Blessing

Kim Klement
The 20-year-old has earned praise from his coach after netting twice in his first MLS start

Sporting Kansas City coach Peter Vermes is delighted by Latif Blessing's double against Orlando City in Major League Soccer last weekend.

On his first league start for his new club, the Ghanaian was twice on target as the Wizards played out a 2-2 draw on Saturday.

The game was his fourth appearance in the topflight.

“He is obviously a very busy guy, very quick, and he’s a bit an X-factor,” Vermes said, according to his club's official website.

“He has a great nose for goal, incredible instincts in and around the attacking third, and those were two very opportunistic goals.

“But we expected that he would be difficult to deal with, because of his size and his quickness.

"We figured he would be a different player that they weren’t used to seeing before, but the fact he lasted as long as he did [82 minutes] was the big thing for me."

Blessing joined Kansas from local side Liberty Professionals in January after winning Best Player award in the Ghana Premier League last season.

He then had a brief loan spell with lower division outfit Swope Park Rangers before rejoining the Wizards.

"He gave a great, great effort and that’s what I commend him for the most," Vermes added.

“I know the focus will be the goals, and we needed him to score goals. But there were other things he did in the game.

“I thought he worked really hard. I thought he was dangerous. I thought he was good at keeping the ball for us. 

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"He gave us everything. I commend him for that."

At 20 years and 134 days, Blessing became the youngest player in Sporting KC history to net twice in a competitive match.