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Sporting KC smashes club record to sign El Tri striker Pulido

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Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes doesn’t suffer substandard seasons, and has got himself a major No. 9.

Alan Pulido, the reigning top scorer in Liga MX, is KC’s newest star, the Mexican striker now boasting the title of club record transfer for an MLS side (One report says it’s near $10 million).

[ MORE: Champions League wrap ]

Pulido comes from Chivas Guadalajara, and will turn 29 in early March. He has five goals in 13 caps for El Tri, and is coming off a career-high 12 goals in 18 matches during the Apertura season.

He has 71 career club goals, most coming in Liga MX. He spent two seasons with Olympiacos in Greece, scoring six times with three assists in 17 appearances.

“We are very excited to add Alan Pulido to our roster ahead of the new season,” Sporting Kansas City Manager and Sporting Director Peter Vermes said. “He is a winner, has a terrific work rate and embodies all of the attributes we value at our club. We also want to thank Chivas for being an incredibly professional partner and appreciate the relationship we have created with them. Alan is ready for this new challenge and looks forward to getting started with us on the field in January.”

Sporting finished last 10 points out of a playoff spot, unfamiliar territory for them in a league which makes it pretty easy to make the postseason. This should help, though it’s worth noting that his big season was by far his most productive.

Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez open to MLS move

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Javier ‘Chicharito‘ Hernandez is keen on a move to Major League Soccer.

Mexico’s all-time leading goalscorer has been linked with a transfer to MLS many times during his career but it appears now could be a good time.

Hernandez, 31, moved from West Ham United to Sevilla in the summer on a three-year contract but has been restricted to most of his appearance off the bench and in the UEFA Europa League.

Asked by the LA Times if he would be interested in a move to Major League Soccer in the future, here was the response from the former Chivas Guadalajara, Man United and Bayer Leverkusen striker.

“Yes. Definitely,” Hernandez said. “Look, I am always thinking about my future. I want to be as open as I can to any opportunity. MLS is a league that is improving. It is an opportunity. Every league is an opportunity.”

Okay, this is the most positive Hernandez has been about a move to MLS so far in his career.

He is now approaching the latter stages of his career and it is clear he’s fed up of sitting on the bench at Sevilla, just like he did for a lot of his time at West Ham. He has scored three goals in 10 appearances for Sevilla in all competitions this season as they sit third in La Liga and cruised into the last 32 of the Europa League.

Chicharito still has plenty of years left in the tank and the way he plays means he is able to adapt his game to being less physical and relying on his instincts, like he has done his entire carer.

Where could he land in MLS? The LA Galaxy seems to make perfect sense, as they have a Zlatan Ibramihovic sized hole in their attack and are obviously keen to close the gap on crosstown rivals LAFC. It is believed Hernandez makes around $3.3 million per season at Sevilla after taking a hefty pay cut to leave West Ham in the summer and the Galaxy certainly need to freshen up their attack this offseason.

Hernandez is also close with Galaxy general manager Dennis te Kloese, who was involved with Chivas while he was a youngster, and given his status as one of Mexico’s greatest players of all time, he’d been an undoubted success wherever he goes in MLS.

Another destination could be with the Chicago Fire FC after their rebrand and move to downtown Chicago to play at Soldier Field they need a few marquee players to help them get close to filling that stadium and Hernandez would fit the bill after the departure of Bastian Schweinsteiger and some of their other DPs. Miami would obviously be another city where Hernandez would love to finish up his playing days, as would most players, and with so many new teams in Nashville, Austin and Sacramento entering the fray in the coming years, Hernandez will have options.

It appears “Chicharito to MLS” finally has legs, and it will be intriguing to see where he ends up.

Mexico’s Jimenez stars as Wolves clinch UEL knockout round berth

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Wolves blew a 3-1 halftime lead at Braga but hung on for a draw to clinch a place in the Europa League Round of 32.

Nuno Espirito Santo‘s men can still win the group if it beats Besiktas on the final match day and Braga loses at Slovan Bratislava.

[ MORE: Top PL storyline for Week 14 ]

Andre Horta put Braga ahead, but Wolves answered with three goals in the next half hour. Raul Jimenez, Matt Doherty, and Adama Traore all got on the board, with Jimenez also picking up an assist.

Paulinho and Fransergio scored twice in 15 second half minute for Braga, who ruined Espirito Santo’s trip back to Portugal.

El Tri star Jimenez now has 15 goals and four assists in 24 matches, including markers in the last three UEL matches.

Brazil beat Mexico to win U-17 World Cup (video)

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Brazil became Under-17 world champions for a fourth time in dramatic fashion as Lazaro Vinicius Marques’ scored a 93rd-minute winner to edge Mexico 2-1 at Estadio Bezerrão on Sunday.

Brazil’s comeback started in the 84th minute when Kaio Jorge converted from the penalty spot, following VAR’s decision which ruled contact on the tournament’s Golden Ball winner, Gabriel Veron, inside the 18-yard box.

With Brazilian legends Ronaldo and Cafu in attendance, the host’s had the better of chances throughout the first 45 minutes. Without any luck, however, Brazil were unable to get the ball past Eduardo Garcia, instead hitting the bar on several occasions.

Then in the 66th minute, Mexico – winners of the tournament in 2005 and in 2011 – stunned the home crowd when Bronze Ball winner Eugenio Pizzoto’s cross into the box was headed into the back of the net by Bryan Alonso Gonzalez Olivan, breaking the deadlock between two sides that had met in the same game back in 2005.

What was going to be a stunning, underdog victory for El Tri, turned into a heartbreaking night for Marco “Chima” Ruiz and company.

Brazil, on the other hand, are now only one championship away from tying Nigeria’s record of five championships.

Watch Live: Brazil v. Mexico in U-17 World Cup final

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The 2019 U-17 World Cup final takes place in Bezerrão Stadium on Saturday as favorites Brazil host an inspired Mexico.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE, HERE

With four goals and one assist, Kaio Jorge has been Brazil’s most productive attacking player this tournament, while Mexico’s and Los Angeles Galaxy’s Efrain Alvarez is hoping to end an incredible tournament in triumphant fashion.

History between both national teams in a U-17 World Cup final dates back to 2005, when LAFC’s Carlos Vela and Mexico routed Marcelo and Brazil 3-0 in Lima, Peru.

Click on the link above to watch the game live.


U-17 World Cup final
Brazil v. Mexico – 5 p.m. ET