SEATTLE, WASH. – Former Sounders FC midfielder Gonzalo Pineda is re-joining the club as an Assistant Coach, the organization announced today. A former 13-year professional in Mexico, MLS and with the Mexican National Team, the 2006 FIFA World Cup veteran retired following a two-year stint with Seattle from 2014 through 2015. Pineda is set to join Head Coach Brian Schmetzer’s staff ahead of Seattle’s 2017 campaign.
“It’s fantastic to bring in a guy who not only has a wealth of knowledge about the game, but also knows our club culture and the city of Seattle,” said Sounders FC General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey. “Gonzalo was a great player and a consummate pro, so I have no doubt that our guys can learn a lot from him.”
The 34-year-old brings a wealth of experience to the coaching staff, with a playing career that included over 200 appearances in Mexico from 2002-2013 before two successful seasons in MLS. Pineda joined Sounders FC prior to the 2014 season, making 56 league appearances over two seasons and recording four goals and nine assists. Pineda started 24 of 28 appearances in Seattle’s 2014 Supporters’ Shield-winning campaign, totaling three goals – all penalty-kicks – and ranking fourth on the club with seven assists. He again made 28 appearances in 2015 with one goal and two assists.
“Gonzalo was always the type of player that you knew would eventually become a coach,” said Sounders FC Head Coach Brian Schmetzer. “His experience and leadership were valuable assets to our locker room, and he never hesitated to stay late and do extra work with younger players. I know he will be a positive addition to our staff.”
The central midfielder began his professional career with UNAM Pumas, where he spent three seasons and captured the 2004 Liga MX Clausura and Apertura titles. He joined Chivas Guadalajara in 2006, where he made over 100 appearances in three seasons before separate one-year loan stints with San Luis, Cruz Azul, Puebla and Queretaro.
“I couldn’t be more excited to come back to Seattle and join Coach Schmetzer’s staff,” said Pineda, who has spent the last year working as an analyst for Univision’s soccer coverage. “After retiring as a player, it was only a matter of time before I found myself returning to the pitch, and coming back to the Sounders was the perfect fit. It was an honor playing for this club and I can’t wait to start the next phase of my career with a first-class organization.”
Pineda earned 44 career caps for the Mexican National Team and participated in the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, where he made four appearances as Mexico advanced to the Round of 16.
The 2017 Sounders FC preseason presented by adidas begins on Tuesday, January 24 and includes training camps in Tucson and Charleston before the MLS-opener on Saturday, March 4 against the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium. 2017 Season Ticket Memberships are still available, including new seat options in the upper bowl by calling 877-MLS-GOAL or emailing Sales@SoundersFC.com. Complete information on all Sounders FC ticket packages can be found at SoundersFC.com/Tickets.