On Wednesday, Sporting Kansas City held an introductory conference call for the media with Head Coach and Sporting Director Peter Vermes along with new striker Alan Pulido. Over the course of the 40 plus minute call quite a few interesting things were said which we’ll highlight below. While the team put out the vast majority of the things that were said, a few snippets were left out that feel important.
Pulido: “I want to be remembered for years to come.”
Alan Pulido was asked many questions about his transfer to Sporting KC and through a translator he provided a few interesting quotes. The one that stood out to me showed a confidence in his abilities and a desire to succeed in the United States.
“The biggest challenge will be to establish a name here in MLS. Obviously, in Mexico people already know me. But MLS is a completely new league for me. I will need to develop and grow as part of the team of course. That will then lead to my individual development. My goals are very clear. I want to win MLS Cup in Kansas City and I want to be remembered for years to come. I want to be an important player for this team.”
As for his goals in MLS, it’s simple.
“My dream would be to fight for MLS Cup and to win the title. There’s no bigger dream or motivation than that, and of course I want to bring joy to the fans with my goals. I’d like to grow personally, and I would like to be the top scorer in MLS—that would be a big dream of mine.”
When Pulido was asked about other Mexico internationals coming to MLS like him and what is making the move attractive, he gave an interesting response.
“The U.S. offers a different quality of life. That is something that motivates me personally. That aspect brings tranquility and it helps for me to develop professionally. Also, the league is growing more competitively each year and it’s becoming a more visible league, which is something that drove me to come to Sporting Kansas City.”
When I tweeted the “different quality of life” line live during the call, multiple people immediately made the joke Pulido doesn’t have to worry about being kidnapped like he was in Mexico. A sad but true reality.
Vermes Says the Spending Will Continue
As is the case anytime you get to ask Peter questions, he had thoughtful, lengthy answers. When Vermes was asked if he’ll spend more on players with the structure in place at Pinnacle and around Sporting KC he quickly replied “Yeah. We are in this world now. We’ll continue to be in this world... This is part of the evolution.”
That ties well to rumors like the reported $2 million offer for Velez Sarsfield center back Lautaro Giannetti, whether there is any truth in that rumor or not.
Previously Peter has talked about the difficulties of building a roster when the new roster rules and new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) are unknown. The Pulido move fits into the old MLS rules quite easily. He is a direct swap for Krisztian Nemeth in budget charges (even if his salary is likely to be much larger). That leaves SKC with nine players above the max budget charge that will either be Designated Players or TAM level contracts ($530,000 to $1.5 million). If the rules change, one would only assume it will loosen the purse strings further.
Despite this transfer reportedly being one of the more expensive in MLS history, it doesn’t mean that SKC will try to keep pace with the Atlanta United’s and LAFC’s of the world when it comes to spending.
“One of the reasons that we haven’t necessarily spent in the same framework as some of the other clubs is we probably just won’t. We’re probably always behind them, and we’ll probably always be behind them because we’re a small market. But at the same time, I don’t think that necessarily means that you’re not trying to compete or win.”
Pulido the Striker
If there were any questions about where Pulido would lineup, Vermes put that to rest.
“He’s a striker up top. As I said before, I know everybody has their own opinions of how players play and different formations but it’s simple: he’ll be in the middle of the park for us. I think he’s an easy guy to play through, but I love his courage in and around the box. I love the way that he’s not afraid to get in on really tough situations where he’ll stick his nose on the end of a ball. At the same time, he can hit the strikes from distance, as well. So it’s pretty simple, he’s going to play center forward for us.”
This is just a taste of what Vermes and Pulido had to say. To read the majority of the remaining quotes, SportingKC.com has you covered.