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Sporting KC’s Alan Pulido wins MLS Comeback Player of Year award

MLS: Sporting Kansas City at Real Salt Lake
Posted at 9:57 AM, Nov 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-15 10:57:21-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After missing the 2022 season following knee surgery, Sporting Kansas City forward Alan Pulido resumed his place among the most-feared strikers in MLS during the 2023 season.

Pulido, who returned from a 16-month absence in April, scored 15 goals with six assists across all competitions for Sporting KC.

The league announced Wednesday that Pulido had been chosen as the MLS Comeback Player of the Year for his exploits. He is the fifth player to win the award in club history.

Pulido thanked Sporting KC’s technical and medical staffs, his surgeons, his teammates, the fans and his family for the support during his recovery in a video released by the club.

Pulido, 32, was the MLS Player of the Month for June and signed a new three-year contract with Sporting KC in September.

The Mexican national was a finalist for MLS Newcomer of the Year in his first season with the club in 2020.

Pulido, who had 14 goals and three assists during the MLS regular season, is the first player in league history to reach double-digit goals in a season after missing the entire previous season with injury.

Atlanta’s Miles Robinson won the player and club votes, but Pulido dominated the media vote in winning the MLS Comeback Player of the Year.

Previous winners from SKC include goalkeeper Tony Meola (2000), midfielder Chris Klein (2002, 2005), forward Eddie Johnson (2007) and goalkeeper Tim Melia (2015).

Pulido had three assists in No. 8 seed Sporting KC’s upset of top-seeded St. Louis City SC in the Western Conference quarterfinals.

He has 30 goals and 14 assists in 69 matches across all competitions since joining SKC.