UPDATE: It’s done. Gonzalo Pineda is Atlanta United’s new manager. The club made it official with an announcement on Thursday morning. He has signed a contract through the 2024 season. Interim manager Rob Valentino will continue to manage the team for the next two games. Pineda is scheduled to conduct his first training session next Thursday.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Gonzalo as the head coach of Atlanta United,” Club President Darren Eales said. “Building off an illustrious international playing career, Gonzalo joined Seattle’s coaching staff and played an integral role in the club’s success over the last few years. He has a thorough understanding of MLS and has proven to be one of the top assistants in the league. He is a great fit for our club from a cultural and technical perspective, and we’re excited to have a long-term commitment in place.”
The club also announced that Rob Valentino will continue on as an assistant coach under Pineda. In addition, Goalkeeping Coach Liam Curran will also remain on staff. Pineda will bring Diego de la Torre with him as an assistant.
Welcome to the ATL, Gonzalo.
Atlanta United have apparently found their next permanent manager in Seattle Sounders assistant coach Gonzalo Pineda. Several reports emerged on Wednesday night stating that the two sides have come to an agreement. Sounder at Heart’s Niko Moreno was the first, followed by Paul Tenorio of The Athletic.
This potential hire is quite the change of direction for Atlanta’s top decision makers. After hiring world-renowned names such as Tata Martino, Frank de Boer and Gabriel Heinze, putting faith in an extremely young and inexperienced MLS assistant is quite the different approach.
Pineda comes with a lot of hype around the American soccer landscape. Since 2017 he’s been an assistant with the Seattle Sounders. He was the hottest domestic managerial candidate on the market in the offseason, being linked heavily linked to the D.C. United before deciding to stay with the Sounders. He’s also been rumored to have interest from Liga MX clubs such as Pumas in the past.
Unfortunately for our analytical ambitions, it’s hard to speak on just what to expect from Pineda in Atlanta since he has no real head coaching body of work to judge from. We can only hope his approach matches the desire for a fun and attacking style of play that the supporters of Atlanta United demand.
It’s a new and exciting era seemingly about to begin and we wish Gonzalo nothing but the best of luck.