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Atlanta United head coaching candidate Gonzalo Pineda absent from Sounders’ Leagues Cup match

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More signs that Pineda may be close to receiving the head coaching job in Atlanta.

MLS: Houston Dynamo at Seattle Sounders FC Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

When the Seattle Sounders lined up last night to face off in a Leagues Cup match against Tigres at Lumen Field, they did so without trusted assistant Gonzalo Pineda on the touchline. Pineda has been interviewed for the Atlanta United head coaching job and was further reported yesterday to be close to signing with the Five Stripes.

First signs that there might be a departure we’re noticed pregame as a different Seattle coach was leading players in warmups typically led by Pineda.

But it wasn’t just warmups where the Mexican international was missing. He was not on the bench or seemingly with the team at all during the match. Afterward, Sounders manager Brian Schmetzer addressed the absence with an initial statement at the top of his postgame press conference, referring to his absence as “intentional.” (So I guess we can rule out Pineda missing the team bus.)

In addition to this conspicuous absence, both Carlos Bocanegra and Darren Eales mentioned in different public settings (Bocanegra in a press conference, Eales on a radio interview with 92.9 The Game) that they hope to have news on the coaching search ““in the near future.”

This all is seemingly pointing in one direction, but as we’ve learned, the deal is never done until you see the news coming from official team accounts.