Ronaldo Cisneros, Gonzalo Pineda Midweek Win MLS Team of the Week

When Ronaldo Cisneros scored the first of his two goals against Real Salt Lake in Atlanta United’s 2-1 home win on Wednesday, he stuffed the ball into his kit right at his belly and gave it a kiss.

The celebration wasn’t just for the Cisneros’s goal. It turns out Cisneros and his wife are expecting a child, the striker shared in postgame media availability.

And on Thursday, the congratulations continued for the father-to-be as MLS announced Cisneros was named to the midweek Team of the Week presented by Audi. The striker on loan from Mexico scored a brace for Atlanta United on Wednesday, his fifth and sixth goals of the season.

It’s the second time since making his MLS debut in April that Cisneros has been given league honors. He broke out after the club’s 4-1 win over Chicago FC on May 7 when he scored a hat trick in the first half. Cisneros earned Team of the Week, Player of the Week and Goal of the Week honors for the performance.

“I’m very grateful for the club, all my teammates, the fans, the city, the sporting directors, just everyone at the club who’s been welcoming me,” Cisneros said after Wednesday’s match. “I feel very happy to be here and also to always have my family supporting me.”

Along with the player award, Atlanta United’s manager was also lauded after the team’s 2-1 win. Head coach Gonzalo Pineda earned Coach of the Week honors, the league announced on Thursday.

The head coach led his squad to a big win at home on Wednesday night, securing three points against a strong Western Conference opponent. Real Salt Lake entered the matchup in third place in the conference table. The club has never earned a point at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Wednesday’s result came as a much-needed win after a tough home loss to Austin FC the weekend prior. After the Austin match, Pineda called on his players to put in more passion and more fight for each other. The result was a strong collective effort on Wednesday that produced two goals and earned three points for Atlanta in the Eastern Conference table.

“Kudos to my team,” Pineda said after the match. “I cannot highlight anyone above the team. I thought today the best player was the team.”

It’s the second time during his tenure at Atlanta United that Pineda has earned Coach of the Week. The manager, who joined the club in 2021, previously was given the weekly award after the team’s shutout victory over Orlando City SC last September.

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Highlights: Atlanta United vs. Real Salt Lake | July 13, 2022

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