International Preview: Alan Pulido and Mexico to battle Netherlands on Wednesday

Mexico at Netherlands
International Friendly
Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020 | 1:45 p.m. CT
Johan Cruyff Arena | Amsterdam, Netherlands

Broadcast Schedule:
English TV | ESPN2
Spanish TV | TUDN, UniMas
Streaming | ESPN app, TUDN.com, Univision NOW

A pair of international heavyweights will square off Wednesday when Sporting Kansas City striker Alan Pulido and Mexico battle the Netherlands at the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The high-profile friendly is slated for 1:45 p.m. CT with live coverage on ESPN2, the ESPN app, TUDN and UniMas as well as TUDN.com and Univision NOW.

Hot off a devastating performance in Sporting's 2-1 road win over the Houston Dynamo on Saturday, Pulido has joined the Mexican national team for the first time in two years. The talented 29-year-old is part of a 26-man squad assembled by head coach Gerardo "Tata" Martino as El Tri prepares to take the field for the first time in 2020.

History could be in the making on Wednesday, with Pulido in contention to become the first player to earn a Mexico cap while playing club soccer for Sporting Kansas City. He is part of a star-studded attack that also includes European-based stars such as Raul Jimenez of English Premier League side Wolverhampton and Jesus Corona of Portuguese powerhouse FC Porto. Additionally, Pulido is one of three MLS players in the Mexican squad alongside LA Galaxy's Jonathan dos Santos and Inter Miami CF's Rodolfo Pizarro.

Pulido, who joined Sporting Kansas City last December on a club-record transfer fee from Chivas de Guadalajara, has recorded five goals in 13 career caps for Mexico. He notably represented his country at the 2011 Copa America and 2014 World Cup and last played for El Tri in November 2018.

Mexico comes in at No. 11 in the latest FIFA rankings, the highest of any Concacaf nation and two spots ahead of 13th-ranked Netherlands. Like El Tri, the Netherlands boasts a wealth of world-class talent under head coach and former Atlanta United FC boss Frank de Boer. The Oranje's current squad features the likes of Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk, Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum, Barcelona playmaker Frenkie de Jong and Lyon attacker Memphis Depay.

Now in his first MLS season, Pulido has played an integral role for a Sporting Kansas City outfit that occupies third place in the Western Conference. The forward is tied atop the club scoring chart with six goals in all competitions, including a brace in Saturday’s 2-1 win that resulted in MLS Player of the Week honors. Pulido is tied for first among MLS newcomers with nine combined goals (five) and assists (four) in the regular season.

Following Mexico's friendly match against Algeria on Oct. 13 in The Hague, Netherlands, Pulido will adhere to mandated health and safety protocols in accordance with international travel before rejoining Sporting Kansas City later this month for the final stretch of the MLS regular season.

Mexico MNT Roster

Goalkeepers: Rodolfo Cota (Leon), Hugo Gonzalez (Monterrey), Alfredo Talavera (Pumas)

Defenders: Nestor Araujo (Celta Vigo), Luis Rodriguez (Tigres), Jesus Gallardo (Monterrey), Cesar Montes (Monterrey), Gilberto Sepulveda (Chivas), Hector Moreno (Al-Gharafa), Gerardo Arteaga (Genk), Alejandro Gomez (Boavista), Jorge Sanchez (America)

Midfielders: Diego Lainez (Real Betis), Edson Alvarez (Ajax), Luis Romo (Cruz Azul), Jonathan dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Carlos Rodriguez (Monterrey), Hector Herrera (Atletico Madrid), Andres Guardado (Real Betis), Omar Govea (Zulte Waregem), Rodolfo Pizarro (Inter Miami), Orbelin Pineda (Cruz Azul)

Forwards: Raul Jimenez (Wolves), Henry Martin (America), Alan Pulido (Sporting Kansas City), Jesus Corona (Porto)

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