Sporting Kansas City are in need of a striker (among many other things). So every time a striker is linked to a move to MLS, rest assured someone will link him to Sporting KC. Today’s rumor comes via ESPN who have Liga MX striker Alan Pulido attached to SKC as well as several other Major League Soccer (MLS) clubs.
Pulido is the striker for Club Deportivo Guadalajara (more commonly known as Chivas). During the Liga MX 2019 Apertura season Pulido was the co-top scorer in the league. Prior to that he earned a Best XI nod during the 2017 Clausura.
Sporting KC aren’t the only team interested in the Chivas striker. In the same story the Chicago Fire were added to the list of interested teams as they’ve jettisoned all their Designated Players recently and would look to make a big splash after their awful logo change and understandable move to Solider Field downtown. Just days ago it was rumored that the San Jose Earthquakes made a $10 million offer for Pulido. The Quakes current coach Matías Almeyda previously coached him in Mexico. Orlando City SC are also tied to Pulido.
“The reality is I’m happy, I love the team, but I feel like I’ve completed all the dreams I had here, I won everything I had to win and a change wouldn’t be at all bad,” Pulido told reporters in Guadalajara on Thursday night. “The most likely [next move] is to go to MLS, there are some important teams that are interested in me, but we’ll take it step by step.”
Chivas just announced the signing for former LA Galaxy winger Uriel Antuna. They also have a new sporting director Ricardo Pelaez, who undoubtedly wants to make the team his own. And it sounds very likely that Pulido is on his way out. However, it’s less certain that Sporting would be the MLS team to land him.
If Sporting were to make such a move for at or around the $10 million mark, it would be by far their biggest ever fee paid. They have only ever spent a combined (!) $4 million on transfer fees in franchise history. All indications are the front office and ownership are opening up the pocketbooks this offseason.
Chivas didn’t qualify for the Liguilla so they are done until the Clausura. In 18 games in the Apertura season, Pulido tallied 12 goals across 1,599 minutes. He also added a single assist. Lifetime he’s scored 71 goals and added 22 assists in just over 15,000 minutes. Liga MX is filled with teams that are better than their MLS counterparts (look no further than the CONCACAF Champions League) so it’s possible he could even score more easily in MLS, though 2019 has been a hell of a year for Pulido.
Prior to playing for Chivas, Pulido lined up for Olympiacos in Greece. Before that he played for APO Levadiakos in the Greek second division (Super League 2). He got his start in Liga MX for giants Tigres UANL but left for Greece in 2015. The 28-year-old striker is under contract to Chivas until the summer of 2021.
Pulido has also starred at various levels of the Mexican National Team. He has 13 caps and five goals with the senior team including at least one goal that I recall against the United States.
Sporting KC currently only have one center forward on the roster — last year’s backup Erik Hurtado. Krisztian Nemeth was out of contract and has yet to join another team or re-sign with Sporting (which seems unlikely). SKC will need to add at least one striker, preferably the long waited for Designated Player, before the 2020 season.
In looking for highlights of Pulido I stumbled upon Hercules Gomez heaping praise on Pulido who is apparently known for his style, fancy cars, off the field choices and a kidnapping he was a victim of in 2015. There are plenty of highlights out there, but it is such a bad representative of a players abilities, it’d probably be better to track down some Chivas game film. If you are a Chivas fan (or Liga MX fan), let us know your thoughts in the replies.
The Blue Testament will bring you more on this and other rumors as they continue to unfold.