Gonzalo Pineda has officially arrived in Atlanta. And with him, a resume that speaks for itself.
On August 12, Atlanta United announced Pineda as its new head coach. The former Seattle Sounders assistant had an extensive international playing career and was part of several successful Major League Soccer campaigns in Seattle. Here’s a breakdown of some of Pineda’s career highlights, by the numbers:
Pineda’s playing career spanned 13 years, most of which was spent in Mexico. He began playing professionally in 2002 at Pumas UNAM, a club based in his hometown of Mexico City. In 2005, he transferred to Chivas Guadalajara, a powerhouse in the Mexican league. After several short-term loans with other Mexican clubs, Pineda concluded his career playing two seasons in MLS with the Seattle Sounders. He retired from soccer in 2016.
During those 13 years, Pineda made over 300 club appearances. He spent a significant portion of his playing career at Chivas, a member of Liga MX. The club made it to the league finals in 2006 and faced Toluca, pitting Pineda against his current assistant coach at Atlanta United, Diego de la Torre. Chivas prevailed, beating Toluca 2-1 to win its 11th championship and qualify for the CONCACAF Champions' Cup in 2007. Pineda started as a midfielder and played the entire match.
Since his debut in 2004, Pineda became one of the mainstays for the Mexico National Team. He accumulated 45 caps and appeared in major tournaments such as the Summer Olympics (2004), Gold Cup (2005), FIFA World Cup (2006) and Copa America (2007). During the Gold Cup in 2005, Pineda helped Mexico win their group and scored the lone goal in their match against Colombia in the quarterfinals. Against Argentina in the semifinals of the 2005 Confederations Cup, Pineda was Mexico's fifth penalty taker and made the kick using the Paneka technique:
Although his main position was defensive midfielder, Pineda tallied 14 goals and 23 assists during his career. He scored five goals in 128 appearances at Chivas. During his two seasons playing for Seattle, Pineda scored four goals – three in 2014 alone that all came off penalties.
As both a player and coach, Pineda has won five trophies, and three have come on American soil. He helped the Seattle Sounders win the U.S. Open Cup and the Supporters’ Shield in 2014 as a midfielder. Then as an assistant coach, Pineda guided the Sounders to three MLS Cup Final appearances in four seasons and the 2019 title. While in Seattle, Pineda studied under Brian Schmetzer, a head coach who made four appearances in the MLS Cup Final in five seasons and led the Sounders from ninth place to a spot in the MLS Cup Playoffs when he took over coaching duties halfway through the 2016 season.