Gonzalo Pineda signed a three-and-a-half-year deal Aug. 12, 2021 to become Atlanta United’s fourth head coach in club history. Following a 13-year playing career, Pineda served as an assistant coach with Seattle Sounders FC from 2017-2021.
Pineda led the team to its fourth MLS Cup Playoff appearance in five seasons after joining midseason. After his appointment on Aug. 12, Atlanta United was tied for the most points (33) in MLS with Supporters Shield winners New England Revolution, Western Conference regular season winner Colorado Rapids and fellow MLS Cup Playoff team Vancouver Whitecaps.
Pineda was an influential member of Seattle’s coaching staff for five seasons, helping guide the club to three MLS Cup appearances and winning it in 2019. As a player, Pineda spent 11 seasons playing in Liga MX, two in MLS and represented Mexico with 45 appearances for El Tri.
Pineda began his professional career with UNAM Pumas in 2003 and spent three seasons with the Mexico City-based club where he won the 2004 Liga MX Clausura and Apertura titles. The central midfielder joined C.D. Guadalajara in 2006 where he won the Liga MX Apertura championship in his first season. With Chivas, Pineda went on to make 145 appearances and scored six goals across all competitions.
Following loan spells with San Luis, Cruz Azul, Puebla and Querétaro, Pineda moved to MLS and joined Seattle Sounders ahead of the 2014 season. There he made 56 league appearances, scored four goals and recorded nine assists across two seasons in addition to leading the team to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and Supporters’ Shield titles in 2014.
Pineda was first called up to the Mexican National Team in 2004 and made his debut Sept. 8 against Trinidad and Tobago in a World Cup Qualifying match. He appeared in all five matches during the 2005 Confederations Cup, starting four. Pineda scored his lone goal for Mexico during the 2005 Gold Cup against Colombia. He helped Mexico qualify for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, appearing in 10 matches. Pineda was selected to the 2006 FIFA World Cup roster under Ricardo La Volpe where he appeared in all four of Mexico’s matches and started three. Head coach Hugo Sánchez called Pineda up for the 2007 Copa América where he made three appearances and helped Mexico finish in third place.