Over the last 10 years, few professional sports franchises have experienced a more transformational journey than Sporting Kansas City. From Wizards to Sporting, from minor league baseball park to world-class soccer stadium, from MLS afterthought to perennial title contender, the 2010s ushered in a Kansas City soccer renaissance as Sporting enjoyed a meteoric rise both on and off the pitch.
Throughout this decade of success, everyone tied to the club—from players and coaches to owners and fans—made priceless memories that will last a lifetime. As the 2010s come to a close, SportingKC.com is counting down the top 20 moments of the decade. The daily series will run from Dec. 12-31, looking back on the biggest matches, announcements and off-the-field developments that left lasting impacts on the club. The top 20 list was determined through voting among front office associates at Sporting. Click here to visit the top 20 as it unfolds.
It shouldn't be too hard for fans to recall the No. 17 moment on our countdown.
Pulido, who joins Sporting as one of the most heralded signings in club history, boasts a decade of big-game experience, trophy-laden success and an overall track record that has Manager Peter Vermes believing he “embodies all of the attributes we value at our club.”
The reigning Liga MX scoring champion netted 12 goals for Chivas this fall, which is one of the biggest reasons his move to Sporting has generated so much excitement. With over 100 career goals for club and country, his attacking pedigree is undeniable.
More impressively, Pulido never failed to win trophies in previous spells with Mexico’s Tigres UANL (2009-2014), Greek giants Olympiacos (2015-16) and Chivas (2016-2019). He is a two-time Liga MX champion, a two-time Copa MX champion, a Super League Greece champion and a winner of the North American Super Liga and Concacaf Champions League.
It remains to be seen how successful Pulido's stint in Kansas City will be, but the transfer itself delivers a gigantic statement of intent from Sporting in its bid to remain a title contender in MLS. To be clear, that's precisely why his signing is No. 17 on the list: not because of what he has done in a Sporting uniform, but because of what his acquisition means for the club moving forward. On more than a few occasions, Vermes has described this new era of increased spending on first-team talent as "MLS 3.0."
With a Designated Player tag and a four-year contract through 2023, Pulido will begin his Sporting tenure with expectations of being a major on-field contributor in 2020 and beyond. And indeed, his move to Kansas City is an emphatic indication that MLS 3.0 has arrived.