Atlanta United Fire Head Coach Gonzalo Pineda After Disastrous Start

Written by Patrick Echatah

Gonzalo Pineda has left Atlanta United as head coach, the club announced on Monday.

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Pineda was an assistant coach with Seattle Sounders FC before taking a job as manager at Atlanta in August 2021. In all competitions, he finished 38W-40L-29D, making the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs in two of his three seasons.

Rob Valentino, the assistant coach, assumes the role of interim coach. Diego de la Torre and Eugenio Villazon, the club’s assistant coaches, have also left. Goalkeeper coach Liam Curran is still employed.

“We are grateful to Gonzalo for his commitment and dedication to the club over the last four seasons. He has been an exemplary ambassador for the organization, and we want to thank him for his contributions to the club,” Atlanta United CEO and president Garth Lagerwey said in a release.

“We made this decision in an effort to move the team in a new direction. As we continue to evaluate all aspects of our sporting operation, Rob will have our full support to turn our season around in the second half.”

Just before the halfway point of the 2024 season, Atlanta, with 16 points (4W-8L-4D), is 13th in the Eastern Conference table as Pineda leaves. At Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which frequently draws some of the largest crowds in Major League Soccer, they have lost five straight games.

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Brazilian winger Célio Pompeu has signed a new deal with St. Louis CITY SC, the team announced on Friday

With a club option for 2027, the 24-year-old Brazilian is now signed through the 2026 MLS season.

“We are proud to see Célio’s growth through our pipeline”, sporting director Lutz Pfannenstiel said in a press release. “He has grown as a professional, both on and off the field, and to reap the rewards with a new contract was something he worked really hard for. Celio continues to elevate his game each and every day and we hope that he doesn’t stop raising the bar.”

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