For the second time in two weeks, Sporting Kansas City forward Alan Pulido was named to the MLS Team of the Matchday presented by Audi on Thursday for Matchday 20 of the 2023 MLS regular season. Pulido scored both goals - including a 91st-minute penalty kick - in Sporting's 2-2 draw at the LA Galaxy on Wednesday.
After missing all of the 2022 season while recovering from knee surgery, Pulido has re-asserted himself in Major League Soccer amidst a scintillating run of form. The Mexican international has scored in four straight league matches - the longest active streak in Major League Soccer - for the first time in his illustrious professional career and he leads all MLS players with six goals and seven goal contributions (six goals, one assist) in the month of June.
Pulido's first goal of the night came a dozen minutes into the Western Conference clash as the 32-year-old headed home a cross from fellow Designated Player Erik Thommy. His second came in second-half stoppage from the penalty spot as Pulido pulled Sporting level and improved to a perfect five-for-five on penalty attempts in his MLS career.
The goal was the latest game-tying penalty in an MLS match this year and Sporting Kansas City’s sixth all-time game-tying penalty in second half stoppage time. Prior to Pulido's clutch conversion, the last player to do so was former Mexico and Chivas Guadalajara striker Omar Bravo against the LA Galaxy on Sept. 5, 2011.
"Obviously, we've missed him," Sporting Kansas City Manager said in the postgame press conference. "He is, game after game, getting more and more comfortable. I don't think he's necessarily hit his stride yet, but he's getting more and more comfortable. He continues to demonstrate the reason why we brought him here in the first place. That part is very good and hopefully that continues."
Pulido is the fourth player in club history to score six goals in a span of four regular season games. Among players with 20 career regular season goals for the club, Pulido's .53 goals per 90 minutes ranks best in team history and his .44 goals per game is second best all-time.
Sporting Kansas City returns home to close out the month of June by hosting the Chicago Fire at 7:30 p.m. CT on Saturday at Children's Mercy Park. Tickets for the cross-conference clash are available online at SeatGeek, including the Sporting U Pass featuring $15 Supporters' Stand tickets for college students.