FC Dallas loaned out one of its new designated players on Friday, before Anibal Chala ever played a game for the MLS club.
Chala joined Dallas as a young DP from Ecuador's Nacional in December, but the 21-year-old has yet to debut after suffering a sports hernia injury in the preseason.
And Dallas has now put off the defender's first MLS appearance until 2018 by loaning him back to another Ecuador club, LDU Quito, for the rest of the season.
"We're disappointed," FC Dallas technical director Fernando Clavijo said in a team statement. "We expected a lot of things from him this year and then we found out in preseason that he had a sports hernia issue.
"He has not been able to rehab fully here. He still has a little bit of pain. With FC Dallas doing so well, and him being so young, we agreed the best thing for him would be to play.
"Back in Ecuador, it will be easier for him to recover and get back into games and come back here next year with his batteries charged."
FC Dallas will now be able to sign another designated player in Chala's place, though a signing will have to wait until the secondary transfer window opens on July 10 unless the target is a free agent.