Sporting KC: 4 things to watch for in 2020 MLS Playoffs

Sporting KC (Photo by Bill Barrett/ISI Photos/Getty Images).
Sporting KC (Photo by Bill Barrett/ISI Photos/Getty Images). /
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Sporting KC
Sporting KC, Alan Pulido (Photo by Bill Barrett/ISI Photos/Getty Images). /

2. Adjusting around Pulido

Superstar forward Alan Pulido has been terrific on the pitch, which hasn’t been as often as expected. The Mexican international has had some injury troubles and was called into the Mexican National Team for a couple of friendlies in October, causing him to quarantine when he returned to KC. Pulido missed out on the latest opportunity to play with Mexico due to a sprained knee, which also has his availability in question for the playoffs.

Peter Vermes updated Pulido’s status as “day-to-day” last week. If Pulido is healthy, then it becomes a question of how healthy? Is he capable of going close to 90 minutes, or is it more of a 60-minute performance or a super-sub off the bench? Whatever the case is, SKC is a much better team with Pulido on the pitch.

If Pulido is capable of close to 90 minutes, it is difficult to see this San Jose Earthquakes team finding a way to beat SKC with their man-marking system. However, if Pulido is still struggling with injury, SKC will look to Erik Hurtado or Khiry Shelton to play Pulido’s position, which is a significant dropoff but still a good and dangerous option.

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