Sporting Kansas City has acquired 28-year-old Mexican striker Alan Pulido as a designated player on a club-record transfer fee from C.D. Guadalajara.
Pulido has signed a four-year MLS contract through 2023 and will occupy an international spot on Sporting’s roster pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P1 visa.
Pulido has scored over 100 combined goals for club and country during a decorated career highlighted by five domestic championships, the 2018 Concacaf Champions League title and 13 caps for the Mexico Men’s National Team.
The striker joins Sporting after finishing atop the Liga MX scoring charts with 12 goals for C.D. Guadalajara in the 2019 Apertura season this fall.
“We are very excited to add Alan Pulido to our roster ahead of the new season,” Sporting Kansas City manager and Sporting director Peter Vermes said. “He is a winner, has a terrific work rate and embodies all of the attributes we value at our club. We also want to thank Chivas for being an incredibly professional partner and appreciate the relationship we have created with them. Alan is ready for this new challenge and looks forward to getting started with us on the field in January.”
At the international level, Pulido has bagged five goals for Mexico’s senior team and was part of the El Tri squad at the 2011 Copa America and the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He also led the Mexico U-23s to the 2012 Concacaf Olympic Qualifying Tournament championship at Children’s Mercy Park as the top scorer of the competition.
Born and raised in Ciudad Victoria, Mexico, Pulido developed in the heralded Tigres UANL youth academy before breaking into the first team in 2009 as an 18-year-old.
He made an instant impact by helping Tigres to the 2009 North American SuperLiga title, starting in two of three tournament appearances. Two years later, Pulido scored in the decisive second leg of the 2011 Liga MX Apertura Final as Tigres won its first league championship since 1982.
Pulido enjoyed a breakout 2013-2014 campaign with 25 goals in all competitions during his final season at Tigres, scoring in the 2014 Copa MX Clausura Final to spark a 3-0 win over Oaxaca and finish as the tournament’s golden boot winner.
Following a successful stint at Tigres, Pulido signed for Greek outfit Levadiakos and scored on his Super League debut before transferring to Greek powerhouse Olympiacos in July of that year.
He notched six goals throughout the 2015-2016 campaign as Olympiacos claimed the Super League title by a 30-point margin, with Pulido also competing in the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Champions League qualifying during his time with the club.
Pulido returned to Liga MX in August 2016, joining C.D. Guadalajara on a club-record transfer fee where he began a prolific spell at Mexico’s most supported club.
His first full season with Chivas yielded 14 goals in all competitions, including goals in both legs of the 2017 Liga MX Clausura Final that propelled Guadalajara to a 4-3 aggregate win over his former club Tigres.
Pulido also guided his side to the 2017 Copa MX Clausura title during a double-winning campaign that culminated with his first Liga MX Best XI selection.
Pulido reached even greater heights in 2018, leading Chivas to the Concacaf Champions League title and the club’s first continental championship in 56 years.
He played an instrumental role in both legs of a thrilling final against Toronto FC, scoring a brilliant free kick in a 2-1 first-leg win at BMO Field in Toronto and converting his penalty kick in a victorious shootout at Estadio Akron in Guadalajara after the series finished tied 3-3 on aggregate. Pulido’s strike in Toronto was selected as the Goal of the Tournament and he was later named a finalist for the 2018 Concacaf Player of the Year.
The Champions League triumph sent Chivas to the 2018 FIFA Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates, where Pulido started in a narrow second-round loss to Japanese side Kashima Antlers. Guadalajara’s appearance in the Club World Cup came midway through a 2018-2019 Liga MX season in which Pulido had a team-best seven goals.
Sporting KC also recently signed Khiry Shelton, a 26-yearold forward, to a three-year MLS contract through 2022 with an option for 2023.
Shelton, who has spent 2019 with German club SC Paderborn 07, returns to Kansas City for his second stint at Sporting after helping the club to first place in the Western Conference and a record-breaking scoring season in 2018.
“Khiry is an experienced player who we are excited to bring back to the club,” Vermes said. “As the 2020 season approaches, we will continue to strengthen our roster with signings on all three lines of the field.”
Capable of playing multiple positions in attack, Shelton started 17 of 24 appearances for Sporting in all competitions during a 2018 campaign that saw the club set regular season club records in goals, assists and goal differential.
He tallied two goals and five assists in MLS play as Sporting finished atop the West with 62 points and an 18-8-8 record. Sporting was 12-3-5 in regular season matches that Shelton played and advanced to the Western Conference Championship, falling one game short of an MLS Cup appearance.
Born in Fort Carson, Colorado, and raised in Leander, Texas, Shelton began his professional career at New York City FC.
- Information from Sporting KC