On Tuesday, Sporting KC signed Liga MX Golden Boot winner Alan Pulido in a club-record transfer. The striker is the necessary superstar signing that puts SKC right back in the MLS Cup mix.
On Tuesday, Sporting Kansas City smashed their previous transfer record to sign Mexican goalscorer, Alan Pulido. At 28 years old, Pulido comes to the United States fresh off an impressive season personally with Chivas Guadalajara, who failed to qualify for the Liga MX Arpertura playoffs.
Pulido finished the season with 12 goals from 18 matches, averaging a goal every 133 minutes. He was also the first Mexican player to win the Liga MX golden boot since 2011, when Club America’s Angel Reyna scored 13.
Pulido signed as a Designated Player for the next four years. Sporting KC also confirmed that the transfer fee has set a new club record. It has been reported that the fee is $9.5 million. He will take an international spot pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P1 visa.
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The Mexican international enters Major League Soccer after starting his career with Tigres, where he scored 23 goals in 123 league appearances. In 2014, Pulido was sent to Greek side Levadiakos on a free transfer where he appeared in just six matches with one goal. In 2015, he was sent on another free transfer to Greek giants Olympiacos, where he scored five goals in eight games. Chivas then signed him for a reported $8.6 million. With his return to Mexico, he found great success, scoring 34 goals in 97 appearances.
As previously reported, Sporting had said they will spend big this offseason. They have certainly proven that with this news. This makes two new forwards in two days for Sporting KC as they announced the return of Khiry Shelton on Monday. There are now three strikers on SKC’s roster: Pulido, Shelton, and Erik Hurtado. All three offer something completely different. Pulido will be the primary starter, with Shelton and Hurtado left to fight for the substitution/spot-starter role.
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Another option would be playing both Pulido and Shelton at the same time, which would likely force a move away from the 4-3-3 formation that Peter Vermes has implemented almost every game with Sporting KC. Either way, it provides Sporting KC with offensive options, which is something they have not had for many years.
Sporting fans will hope this signing turns out better than their last Mexican Designated Player. Perhaps the only disappointment of their opening season after their re-branding, Omar Bravo didn’t live up to the hype, scoring nine goals in 28 matches and then returning to Mexico.
Nevertheless, Pulido is a different player, proven in a higher quality league, bringing with him a wealth of goalscoring experience and substantial pedigree. Now with the additions of Pulido and Croatian central defender Roberto Puncec, Sporting has a very talented and experienced squad when you include Johnny Russell, Matt Besler, Tim Melia, Graham Zusi, Roger Espinoza, Felipe Gutierrez, and Ilie Sanchez.
Vermes’ side could look very different than any other team he has managed in 2020. And that is no bad thing. Sporting KC finally have a striker they can unite behind, and Pulido might just bring untold successes to Children’s Mercy Park in return.