One day after signing for Sporting Kansas City on a club-record transfer fee from C.D. Guadalajara, Mexican striker Alan Pulido joined Sporting Manager Peter Vermes for a conference call with media members on Wednesday afternoon. Remarks from Pulido—translated from Spanish to English through an interpreter—and Vermes can be found below.



Sporting Kansas City forward Alan Pulido


On the factors that encouraged him to join Sporting…

I was convinced by the structure of the team, 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.


On his goals and dreams with Sporting KC, having accomplished his goals and dreams with Chivas…

My dream would be to fight for MLS Cup and to win the title. 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.


On his experiences in Liga MX translating to MLS…

I achieved all of my goals with Chivas Guadalajara. I am the kind of player that goes after goals and achieves them. Everything that I could accomplish with the team in Mexico, I did. And now Sporting KC represents another challenge—one that I can grow professionally and personally in.


On what makes MLS attractive to players from Mexico…

The U.S. offers a different quality of life. That is something that motivates me personally. That aspect brings tranquility and it helps for me to develop professionally. Also, 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.


On the biggest challenges from changing leagues and cultures…

The biggest challenge will be to establish a name here in MLS. Obviously, in Mexico people already know me. But MLS is a completely new league for me. I will need to develop and grow as part of the team of course. That will then lead to my individual development. My goals are very clear. 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.


On being sought by many MLS teams…

There were rumors about other MLS teams wanting me, but my closest proximity was with Sporting. They convinced me to join. They showed me the structure of the team and that motivated me to come here.



Sporting Kansas City Manager and Technical Director Peter Vermes


On what Pulido’s acquisition means for Sporting and for MLS…

MLS has gone through 1.0 and 2.0, and now we are in 3.0. The 3.0 era is the era of TAM (Targeted Allocation Money) and all of the injections of cash that have entered the league in the last few years. To see the growth of this league as a player and now a manager—at one point we didn’t know if we were going to have a league, and now we’re working with 26 teams. It’s an exciting time to bring a player of Alan’s quality to the league and to Sporting Kansas City. It is a huge step for us and our league.


We ask players if they would be interested in playing in Major League Soccer, and more specifically with Sporting Kansas City. For a lot of players around the world, their first reaction is “Yes, I’d like to play in New York or California,” because those are the places that they know. But because we’ve been a very competitive team for a long time and we have a lot of other things to offer, Alan saw those as reasons to join us. He’s very excited to join the club, and we’re very excited to add him to our roster.


On Pulido’s strengths as a player…

You can always compare certain qualities among players, but there’s no doubt that he has his own style. He can score goals, and the position he’ll play is the No. 9. More importantly, he has an incredible presence. He’s good with both his left and right foot, he’s good in the air with his head, but he’s also a strong and competitive player.


Coming from the Mexican league to Major League Soccer, the Mexican league is a very tough league to play in. He has always found a way to be dangerous no matter what team he’s playing on. He can play in a very physical match, you can play through him, and he has the ability to (deliver) the final pass. He has all of the qualities that we look for at the end of the day. His work ethic, competitiveness and qualities (as a player) all fit into what we’re looking for.


The last piece is the fact that he understands what it’s like to play in our region. I don’t have to get him to understand what it’s like to play in the summertime. Those are things that he can handle.


On Sporting’s progression from being a leader in MLS 2.0 to spending to compete in MLS 3.0…

I think there’s no doubt that obviously the spending is here, and with spending comes higher-quality players usually. I also think that you have to be very careful. Just because you go spend a lot of money doesn’t necessarily mean that the player’s going to work. I think you have to find players that fit the way that you want to play, they have to want to play in the environment that you provide, and they also have to come with the mentality to win.


One of the reasons that we haven’t necessarily spent in the same framework as some of the other clubs is we probably just won’t. We’re probably always behind them, and we’ll probably always be behind them because we’re a small market. But at the same time, I don’t think that necessarily means that you’re not trying to compete or win. I also think that it’s been a little bit more difficult for us to find players that fit us. As I stated earlier, I think there have been a lot of players that come to our league and the only place they wanted to play was for a team in California or a team in New York. I think those things are changing because people are seeing, with 26 teams, there’s a lot of opportunity out there for a lot of different players.


Alan making the decision to come to us has a lot to do with a lot of other things that we can offer. But he also knows that we have been, and will continue to be, a competitive team. There’s an opportunity to try to win, and I think that’s an important aspect. We will continue to try to be at least a team that’s competitive year after year, and to do that, I think in certain areas of the field, if you don’t have or you can’t develop that player, you’re going to have to go and purchase that player.


On how Pulido will fit in the team tactically and if there will be any variation in formation…

He’s a striker up top. As I said before, I know everybody has their own opinions of how players play and different formations but it’s simple: he’ll be in the middle of the park for us. I think he’s an easy guy to play through, but I love his courage in and around the box. I love the way that he’s not afraid to get in on really tough situations where he’ll stick his nose on the end of a ball. At the same time, he can hit the strikes from distance, as well. So it’s pretty simple, he’s going to play center forward for us.



On the club’s attacking options with Pulido and Khiry Shelton signed this week and if it will require a formation change…

It’s going to depend on the players, like it always does. I think that Major League Soccer has gotten to a place where we see a congested schedule. Even at the end of the season with the playoffs and how scrunched up it is, you’re playing every three days. With how that competition plays itself out at the end, you have to have a deep team. All of those players are welcome (to the team), and they’re all going to have to compete and fight it out week after week. That’s what’s going to make the team hopefully propel itself forward and up in the standings, as well.


On the influx of players from Mexico to MLS…

It’s not just Mexican players. It’s players from all over the world. You’re seeing more and more of an influx of foreign players because our league is much more visible and much more competitive. The other attractive point is that when you look at our league, there are already 26 teams in it. You look at the different cities that have teams and what the environments are like from game to game with sold out stadiums and incredible environments to play in. That’s very attractive for foreign players. I think that we’ll see more and more opportunities to bring players of a high quality to our league because of the evolution of MLS, which has been an incredible fast-growing league.


On if this adds new pressure to the team for 2020…

The pressure has always been more self-induced then external. Myself, the staff, the players – we all want to win. It’s not going to change. It just gives us a much better weapon to do it with. Alan brings that kind of quality. I look at it more as a help than anything else.


On this investment adding to the club’s infrastructure investments…

There’s a thing called plateau negotiating. Sometimes when you hit the plateau, you never go down from there. I’m going to assume that we’re in this world now and we’re going to continue to be in this world. I also think that our league is in this world as well. It’s just a part of the evolution. I know that there has been a lot made about how big this transfer was and how much money we spend. But I also think you have to take into consideration that we also feel that we got the right person. That’s the key – being able to make a deal like this but also making sure that the acquisition of the person is the right person.


On the club’s business relationship with Chivas Guadalajara…

It was an opportunity that both clubs were trying to take advantage of in the right way. I appreciated the way that they went about their business. I think it was the best for everybody. It was very good. I would say that because of the relationship with Omar (Bravo), it definitely helped in this transaction. I would like to think in the future that we would continue on having some more business dealings because of how well this went and the success that we’ve had.