They have been publicly “on the search” for a star striker since they shipped Dom Dwyer to Orlando City in 2017. But after accomplishing everything he possibly could with Chivas, it was time for a new challenge for the reigning Liga MX scoring champion.
His ambition? To win.
“My dream would be to fight for MLS Cup and to win the title,” Pulido told reporters in a conference call on Wednesday. “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.”
Pulido is coming off a Liga MX Apertura campaign where he tied for the golden boot, scoring 12 goals in 18 matches for Guadalajara. He’s won every trophy possible with Chivas, including league and continental titles, and he was ready for a new challenge. With multiple MLS teams circling towards the end of Chivas’ campaign, the combination of his yearning for a new challenge and Sporting’s need for a Designated Player striker met on a collision course.
“There were rumors about other MLS teams wanting me, but my closest proximity was with Sporting,” Pulido said. “They convinced me to join. They showed me the structure of the team and that motivated me to come here.”
The San Jose Earthquakes and Chicago Fire were both also reported possible destinations for Pulido, and San Jose seemed like a logical destination considering his past history with Quakes manager Matias Almeyda. But Sporting were the ones who emerged as the top suitor.
In an interview with Sports Radio 810, SKC sporting director and head coach Peter Vermes said that Pulido was on their discovery list, meaning any other MLS club would’ve had to go through them first anyway. Because Sporting’s interest was so high, they pushed to get the deal done with Guadalajara.
As for what convinced Pulido to take the chance? It was Sporting’s mutual ambition to win.
“I was convinced by the structure of the team,” Pulido said. “The fact that they want to shine and look to win the title, those were the reasons I wanted to come to this great club.”
Pulido becomes the second star Mexican striker to make the move from Chivas to Sporting KC. Omar Bravo played for the team in 2011, scoring nine goals in 28 matches. Pulido also joins the recent wave of Mexican stars to join MLS, following in the footsteps of the dos Santos brothers, Carlos Vela, and Marco Fabian. Pulido spoke to the “quality of life” in America as one reason for making the move to MLS.
The continued growth of the league was also a reason moving to MLS became attractive.
“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,” Pulido said.
Sporting KC needed a difference maker. In Pulido, they believe they have someone who has checked off every goal he’s ever had, and has the ambition to do more, with them.
“My goals are very clear,” Pulido said. “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.”