Sporting Kansas City signs Mexico international Alan Pulido as Designated Player

Sporting Kansas City has signed Mexico international forward Alan Pulido to a four-year, Designated Player contract, the team announced Tuesday.

The transfer fee for Pulido, 28, is a club record, according to a source with knowledge of the situation, but the previous record, according to data from Transfermarkt.com, was just €1.5 million for Gerso Fernandes prior to the 2017 season. Recent reports had put Pulido's price tag in the $9-10M range. Kansas City had paid a total of $4M in transfer fees in its history.

Pulido addresses a need for SKC, who have been lacking a true center-forward for some time. Last season, the role was shared primarily by Krisztian Nemeth and Erik Hurtado. Nemeth scored eight league goals on the season, but just two of those came after May 1. Hurtado scored two league goals after taking over later in the campaign.

Pulido, by contrast, was the leading scorer during the regular season portion of the 2019 Apertura, tallying 12 times in 18 league games for Chivas. In four seasons in Guadalajara, Pulido recorded 41 goals in 118 league and cup appearances.

A native of Ciudad Vitoria, Pulido broke in professionally with Tigres in 2010. He went on to score 40 goals in 126 appearances.

Pulido became embroiled in a contract dispute with Tigres ahead of the 2014 Apertura, with the club stating that the player had signed a contract extension while Pulido claimed he was a free agent. Although Pulido's claim was rejected twice by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, he was eventually given a provisional International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and moved to Greek side Levadiakos in January 2015. That summer, he was transferred to Olympiakos.

Pulido struggled during his time in Greece, netting six goals in 21 appearances. Toward the end of 2016, Pulido was a target of the Colorado Rapids, but the uncertainty surrounding the status of his ITC ultimately scuttled the deal. Pulido landed with Chivas soon after.

At international level, Pulido has scored five goals for Mexico in 13 appearances, though his last appearance with El Tri came in 2018.