Sporting Kansas City striker Alan Pulido earned his 16th cap for the Mexico Men's National Team on Saturday night, starting and playing 69 minutes in a 0-0 friendly draw against Honduras at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The game was played with 70,072 fans in attendance, the largest soccer crowd in the world since early 2020.
Pulido's start was his first for Mexico since Nov. 16, 2018, and concluded a two-week stint in which the 30-year-old forward helped El Tri to a second-place finish in the inaugural Concacaf Nations League in Denver. He joined head coach Gerardo "Tata" Martino's side at the end of May and featured as a second-half substitute on June 3 against Costa Rica, burying his penalty kick as Mexico prevailed in a shootout following a scoreless draw. Pulido didn't feature when Mexico fell 3-2 in extra time to the United States in the Concacaf Nations League Final on June 6 at Empower Field at Mile High.
Mexico used Saturday's exhibition as a test run for the upcoming 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup, which will take place from July 10 to Aug. 1, as well as the start of their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign in September. El Tri will also assemble a squad consisting mostly of U-24 players for the Summer Olympics in Japan from July 24 to Aug. 7.
A 2014 FIFA World Cup veteran, Pulido has five goals in 16 appearances for Mexico since debuting in 2014. He has enjoyed a sensational run of form with Sporting Kansas City, having led MLS during the month of May with five goals and six combined goals and assists. The club's record signing posted four goals and an assist during a three-game winning streak from May 16-29.
With his international spell in the rearview mirror, Pulido will return to Sporting Kansas City this week ahead of a challenging trip to the Portland Timbers on Saturday at Providence Park. The Western Conference clash will kick off at 9:30 p.m. CT with live coverage on Bally Sports Kansas City, Bally Sports Midwest, BallySports.com, the Bally Sports app, Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Grande 1340 AM.