Connect with us

Sporting KC

Alan Pulido signs new three-year deal with Sporting KC

What does the signing mean for Sporting Kansas City in terms of roster flexibility, salary budget space and more?



Credit: Thad Bell

Sporting Kansas City announced on Thursday morning the re-signing of striker Alan Pulido to a three-year contract. Details aren’t available on the contract (and likely won’t be until next Spring/Summer), but the release does say he will occupy a Designated Player roster spot. For 2024, that means he’ll make at least $1,683,750.

The rumor that initially came out is that he would make $4.4 million per season, but that rumor also had it as a two-year deal. His prior deal paid him $2.2 million per season. If the raise is true, it doesn’t impact the salary budget (a true DP is a DP at any wage above that ~$1.7m number), it only impacts the owners’ pocketbooks.

Sporting KC has played 133 games across all competitions since Pulido’s arrival, including 115 regular season games. Alan featured in less than half of those matches, with 61 total appearances in all competitions. However, when he’s in the lineup, the team is exceptional. In the regular season, “the team has a 28-16-12 record (.607 winning percentage) with 1.71 points per game and 1.77 goals per game. In the 61 [regular season] matches without him during that time, Sporting is 20-28-13 (.434 winning percentage) with 1.2 points per game and 1.25 goals per game.”

Injury Concerns

Even before missing all of the 2022 MLS season, Alan Pulido has a history of injuries. When my colleague Mike Kuhn broke down the value for the money even before the totality of the 2022 season was missed, the numbers weren’t good.

Add to that he’s currently 32-years-old (33 in March, around the start of the 2024 league year). He’ll be 35 before this contract is up.

There is no argument that Pulido isn’t absolutely fantastic when he’s healthy. It’s just a matter of staying healthy. Manager Peter Vermes has long said it was a fluke that Pulido got injured with the Mexican National Team and basically every problem extended from that situation. Since he’s been healthy in 2023, he’s bagged 13 goals in regular season play (currently second in all of MLS). He’s just one goal behind 2022 league MVP Hany Mukhtar.

His 13 goals this season come in just 1,794 minutes. That’s 0.65 goals per 90, which is outstanding. When healthy, he’s elite.

Further Ramifications for Sporting KC

There are two areas that immediately come to mind in regard to the Pulido news. First, this occupies a Designated Player spot, so that’s one less team-changing signing the team can make in the offseason.

Second, that keeps Willy Agada pushed down the depth chart. Agada was fantastic in 2022 and then wasn’t the same to start 2023 before he had his surgery. The team has two option years left on Agada’s deal, so I assume he’ll be back. Agada is still just 23-years-old and hopefully he’ll continue to receive more minutes to keep Alan fresh. Heck, maybe they can even play together.

The KC Soccer Journal will bring you more on the Pulido signing as it becomes available. There is a press conference happening very soon.

The story had additional contributions by Cody Bradley.

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Eric Vidoni

I realize a lot of people in this little corner of the interwebs want a fresh start. I get it and I don’t blame anyone for that. But, I just don’t hate this. He really elevates us, especially when Kinda is on the field helping to create with/for him.

Now, remind me, who is the patron saint of healthy athletes…?

Sid Much Rock

St. Sebastian was a Christian martyr and saint, who lived in the 3rd century AD. He is venerated as the patron saint of athletes, soldiers, and those suffering from the plague. He is known for his physical strength and endurance, as well as his unwavering faith in the face of persecution.

Not sure if he has been plagued with injuries but looks like St. Sebastian has got that base covered too.

Eric Vidoni

Will be ordering my St Sebastian medal tonight! Thanks Sid!

Apropos of nothing related to his actual signing, it’s hard not to like a #9 who gives a shout out to the smiling Compass Minerals kitchen staff at his resigning press conference. I mean he’s either absolutely as genuine as Peter says, or his media training is just off the charts good.

Sid Much Rock

Anyone who thinks we can get a player with a better track record in the MLS for less money is kidding themselves.


I know it was only a brief period of time against a team full of backups who had their foot off the gas due to a comfortable lead and some pretty stifling conditions but I really liked what I saw with that 4231/442 hybrid thing against Miami with the dual pivot of Walter and Radoja behind the 3 of Thommy, Pulido, and JFR and Agada at the top. It fees like the kind of thing that could work well as a regular option next year, assuming Kinda isn’t back and that they’ll start phasing JFR out as his contract runs it’s course. They could just kind of rotate between Salloi, Thommy, and JFR to keep them all fresh.

I know it won’t happen and maybe wouldn’t even work for a full 90 but I do want to see it again.


IMO, re-signing a 32 year-old injury prone player as one of your DPs is not a winning formula in the modern-day MLS. But I guess if they’re giving him that much of a raise, you really have no choice but to make him a DP.

I like Pulido and have nothing against him personally. It’s really more of my own issue with the club’s general philosophy on personnel decisions and their (in my eyes) sub-standard scouting abilities in finding younger talents to develop.

But I do understand the opposing view here. There’s no doubt he’s a great striker when healthy, and he knows the team and system well. We’re definitely a better team with him on the field.

Sid Much Rock

I hear this all the time and I just wonder who is doing it better? We see Dallas is good at growing strikers. That’s legit. But who is out there finding young players for cheap that turn into MLS golden boot contenders? Not one “we got lucky” signing, but doing it consistently?


I don’t think we need a young player for cheap, but I’d rather rely on a younger player than Pulido. He’s been fantastic this season when he finally made it on the field, but is that realistic for him to continue for the next three years. And as far as younger strikers go, I can think of at least 5 currently playing that are all under 30 and were signed in their mid-20s (Muhktar, Arrango, Bouanga, Carranza, Luchó Acosta, etc.) Im not saying it’s easy, but we certainly do not have a good track record of finding those players. And that could lend itself to the argument of why we need to keep Pulido or could push you to want to keep searching for that kind of player.

Josh Wallace

I really like re-singing Pulido. Two years would have been a better option, and I’m sure SKC haggled for that. Honestly, if you look at Pulido’s injury history, outside of the injury with the national team that ultimately cost him last year, he rarely gets injured. His playing style also isn’t dependent on much athleticism, which is going to help him these next few years. Pulido relies mostly on movement and skill with passing and sometimes dribbling to be effective. He doesn’t need much speed. His game will definitely buy him a few more years.

What I’m really worried about is Willy Agada. I think with some development, he can be really good in the MLS. However, he won’t get that development on the bench or with the second team. I really think PV should consider sending him somewhere on loan to get some playing time and build his game OR plan to give him X amount of starts in the next season.

Recent Comments

KC Soccer Journal in your Inbox!

Be the first to know when news breaks, sign up to get all of our posts sent directly to your inbox.


Follow us on Twitter

Make your voice heard. Leave a comment!x