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Sporting KC forward Alan Pulido chosen as MLS Comeback Player of Year finalist

MLS Whitecaps Sporting KC Soccer
Posted at 5:19 PM, Oct 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-26 18:19:55-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Sporting Kansas City’s Alan Pulido is a finalist for MLS Comeback Player of the Year.

The league announced the finalists Thursday and Pulido — a Mexican forward, who missed the entire 2022 season after knee surgery — headlines the group, which also includes Seattle Sounders FC midfielder Joao Paulo and Atlanta United FC defender Miles Robinson.

RELATED | ‘Lion in a cage’: Pulido eager to pounce back into action

Across all competitions, Pulido scored 15 goals with three assists after returning from a 16-month absence on April 1.

All but one of those goals came in MLS regular-season play and Pulido was chosen as the MLS Player of the Month for June.

Pulido, who became SKC’s first player with 12 goals in 12 matches from June 3 to Sept. 9, is the first MLS player to score at least 10 goals in a season after missing the previous season due to injury.

Sporting KC signed Pulido, who has the highest goals-per-game average in club history, to a new three-year Designated Player contract through the 2026 season in September.

He previously was an MLS Newcomer of the Year finalist after joining Sporting KC in 2020.

Pulido scored 14 goals with eight assists in 33 matches during his first two seasons with the club before missing all of last season.

Sporting KC boasts five MLS Comeback Player of Awards in its history — goalkeeper Tony Meola (2000), midfielder Chris Klein (2002, 2005), forward Eddie Johnson (2007) and goalkeeper Tim Melia (2015).

After knocking off the San Jose Earthquakes in a shootout during the wild-card round, Sporting KC begins a best-of-three MLS Cup Playoffs series on the road at the Western Conference’s top seed, St. Louis City SC, at 9 p.m. on Sunday. The match can be seen on FS1 and AppleTV’s MLS Season Pass.

Game 2 will be at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 5, at Children’s Mercy Park. If necessary, Game 3 would be back in St. Louis at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11.