Peter Vermes has confirmed the injury sustained by Alan Pulido during Sporting Kansas City’s 2-0 win over the Chicago Fire was nothing more than a ‘knock’.
Though he didn’t score, Pulido was a menacing presence, completing a team-high three dribbles, creating one chance for his teammates and rattling the woodwork with a long-range effort shortly before half-time.
By then, SKC had already done the damage, with Jose Mauri and Johnny Russell goals inside the opening six minutes enough to end their four-game winless streak.
But in the 85th minute, Pulido fell to the floor holding his left leg. Vermes quickly replaced him with Cameron Duke but as the club’s second-highest goalscorer this season (eight goals), Pulido’s presence will be critical as the playoffs draw near.
Speaking to reporters after the match, Vermes was able to put any supporter anxiety to rest, revealing the Mexico international had merely taken a knock.
“It was just more of a knock than anything else,” said Vermes. “He’s put in a lot of running and a lot of work into the last two games. I think he’ll be okay.”
Despite sitting second in the Western Conference, SKC hadn’t won at home since beating LAFC at Children’s Mercy Park on June 26th prior to Saturday.
Though there’s little chance of them slipping below the playoff line now – with a 14-point cushion between them and Vancouver in eighth – it’s important SKC keep building momentum as the post-season draws near.
Vermes was relieved to see his side finally send their supporters home happy.
“We always want to win at home,” he said. “There have been some good games, but we just haven’t been able to find the game-winner.
“Today, it was an important thing for us to get the first goal because we wanted to be out in front and let the other team have to chase the game a little bit and put them under pressure and hopefully create some other things. We gave up a few chances today. That part I didn’t like but we also created a lot of other chances. We probably could have scored quite a few more goals.
“All in all, a good day (with) three points. It’s good to get that, especially with where things are right now in the table and also the game here this Wednesday with Minnesota.”
SKC remain just two points behind Western Conference leaders Seattle Sounders, though they have played a game more. Next up is the visit of Minnesota United in a game dubbed the “nicest rivalry in sport”.