Atlanta United part ways with Gonzalo Pineda

Gonzalo Pineda - Atlanta United

Atlanta United have parted ways with head coach Gonzalo Pineda, the club announced Monday.

Pineda joined Atlanta in August 2021 as a first-time manager after being an assistant coach for Seattle Sounders FC. He went 38W-40L-29D across all competitions, qualifying for the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs in two of three seasons.

Assistant coach Rob Valentino takes over as interim coach. Additionally, assistant coaches Diego de la Torre and Eugenio Villazon have departed the club. Goalkeeper coach Liam Curran remains in his current role.

"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."

Coach history

Pineda was Atlanta's longest-tenured head coach, exceeding spells by now-Inter Miami CF head coach Tata Martino, Frank de Boer and Gabriel Heinze. Stephen Glass and Valentino both had interim stints as well.

That's all in a seven-plus year history, with Atlanta experiencing unprecedented success as a 2017 expansion team. They won MLS Cup 2018 under Martino, but have struggled to regain the heights Josef Martínez, Miguel Almiron and Co. produced.

What's next?

As Pineda exits, Atlanta are 13th in the Eastern Conference table with 16 points (4W-8L-4D) just before the halfway point of the 2024 season. They've lost five straight matches at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which routinely welcomes some of the biggest crowds in MLS.

Roster-wise, transfer reports link star striker Giorgos Giakoumakis to Liga MX's Cruz Azul. Should Giakoumakis leave, Atlanta would open a Designated Player spot alongside star midfielder Thiago Almada and center back Stian Gregersen.

This summer, Almada is poised to captain Argentina at the 2024 Olympics. Meanwhile, left back Caleb Wiley will likely join Team USA at the tournament.

Additionally, midfielder Bartosz Slisz (Poland) and winger Saba Lobjanidze (Georgia) are on Euro 2024 rosters. Center back Luis Abram (Peru) will likely play at Copa América 2024.