Alan Pulido shares what led him to make the decision to stay in Kansas City and his goals for the future. Follow along with our Hispanic Heritage web series and get to know more about some of our Spanish-speaking players. Para leer en español haga clic, AQUÍ.
Alan Pulido is a talented and passionate Mexican soccer player and has left an indelible mark on Sporting Kansas City. His love for the fans, the club, and the city led him to renew his contract with the team in September 2023.
Despite undergoing a major surgery that sidelined him for the 2022 season, Pulido made a strong return this season and has had a significant impact on the field, scoring 14 goals thus far, making him one of the league's leading goal-scorers. But his influence goes beyond his athletic achievements, Pulido has built a home and community in Kansas City, really cementing himself with the city. For Pulido, Kansas City has become his home, and his decision to stay reflects his commitment to the team and his goals.
During his recovery, Pulido faced many difficult moments and doubts about whether he would be able to play at the same level again. However, he has always believed that the worst moments bring out the best in you. On the first day following his operation, Pulido dedicated himself completely to his recovery. He challenged himself to return to the pitch sooner than what was expected. His competitiveness and determination led him to overcome obstacles and become mentally stronger, his triumphant return is a testament to his effort and perseverance.
“From the first moment,” Pulido commented. “I remember that the next day after the operation I was already in therapy, I was in preseason with the team, I didn't have a single day of recovery, that's the truth. And I was there giving my all to my recovery. I set a challenge for myself. They told me that [my recovery] was set for nine to ten months and I was determined to be back in seven to eight months, I had to return sooner than they had told me."
The unconditional support of the fans was essential for Pulido during his injury and recovery. The positive messages and support he received motivated him to keep going and do his best. Returning to the playing field was an exciting moment full of mixed feelings for him. After so long without playing and seeing the team fighting for victories, Pulido's return was a joy for both him and the fans.
His first game at his home was especially significant since the public received him with applause and joy. These moments are unforgettable and were one of the factors that led to his decision to stay in Kansas City. People's support is something he values greatly, and he wants to give back by winning a championship with his team.
“The truth is that I see it,” Pulido said. “Since I was injured, I obviously saw the unconditional support, that they would be waiting for me to return, to recover as soon as I could to play again. And it was always something very positive, positive messages that also helped me not to give up, and to continue working day by day, they motivated me to give my best.”
Kansas City has become a special place for Pulido. He describes the city as calm and welcoming and highlights the kindness and attentiveness of the people who live here. His desire to fulfill his goals and turn Sporting Kansas into MLS champions is one of the reasons why he decided to renew his contract. He seeks not only personal achievements but also the success and recognition of the team as a whole.
“Honestly, this is a city that I really like, you can always find the good things. It is very quiet but very comfortable, the people are very kind and very attentive and here also at the club they have treated me in a spectacular way, it cannot be said in other words, and I am very happy, honestly, I am very happy to be here. That's why I made the decision to stay, to renew with Sporting, and to continue meeting goals that I have not yet met. "
“I want to be a champion here; I want to give the people along with all my teammates a championship. I want, as I told Peter [Vermes], I am not interested in personal achievements but rather as long as one day in the future when I come back to the facilities and see a photo of myself with the team raising a trophy, for me that is something that would make me happy. Very proud, very happy and that is what I am working for, and I really want Sporting to be a team that people in MLS look at and have a lot to say about.”
Pulido seeks to fulfill those dreams with his family and his teammates. Pulido's family plays an important role in his life and his experience in Kansas City. Although they can't be together all the time, when they visit, they enjoy special moments together. They eat Mexican food, go to restaurants, and have barbecues, something they are used to in Mexico. Pulido highlighted that he built a large grill to enjoy these moments, making his space feel like home, even when he misses his family.
Pulido's passion for cooking is a not-so-hidden talent. He loves to cook and share delicious meals with his teammates and staff. At the facilities, you can hear how people enjoy the ‘carne asada’ that Pulido prepares, the players comparing it to local restaurants. Food is a way for him to share his culture and his teammates enjoy the time they share.
“Yes, I like to cook,” Pulido shared. “I like to make the recipes that I already know: ceviche, pasta…the truth is that I am very good at barbecue. In fact, when I invite people from the club and the staff here, the players tell me that, that I make good barbecue, I honestly love sharing moments, and eating delicious food, and well, it is something that I continue taking recipes to create new meals.”
Alan Pulido has great goals and aspirations and this September the Mexican forward decided to continue pursuing those goals with Sporting Kansas City. His love for the city, its people, and his team are all reasons that led him to call Kansas City his home. Alan Pulido, he’s here to stay.