Rob Valentino agreed to a multiyear contract extension on Nov. 16, 2021 to remain on Gonzalo Pineda’s coaching staff as an assistant coach. Valentino has been with Atlanta United since 2018 and served in several roles.
The Illinois native was named interim head coach on July 18, 2021 and remained with the First Team following Pineda’s hire. Valentino compiled a 4-2-2 record as interim coach and then helped the team finish with the most points in MLS (33) after Pineda’s appointment in August of 2021.
He originally joined the club on Jan. 23, 2018 as assistant coach for Atlanta United 2’s inaugural season. He was then promoted to assistant coach with Atlanta United’s First Team prior to the 2019 MLS season. Prior to joining Atlanta, Valentino served as an assistant coach for Orlando City B since August 2015.
During his time in Atlanta, Valentino has played a key role in player development, working with players such as 2017 MLS SuperDraft selection and current United States Men’s National Team defender Miles Robinson, as well as the progression of multiple players from ATL UTD 2 to the First Team, including Homegrown defenders George Bello and George Campbell.
Before becoming a coach, Valentino played professionally for eight years as a defender. He was drafted No. 13 overall in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft by New England Revolution and later played for Colorado Rapids and FC Tampa Bay before landing at Orlando City in 2011 for the team’s inaugural season. Valentino made 77 appearances over five seasons at center back, scoring nine goals, and won three regular season USL championships and two postseason titles with Orlando City. He was voted 2011 USL Defender of the Year and was named team captain after his first season. He played one season with Arizona United in 2015 before announcing his retirement.
Valentino attended the University of San Francisco where he played and served as team captain for four seasons. He was named the West Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year as a sophomore and the West Coast Conference Player of the Year as a junior.