While Pineda, who also interviewed for the D.C. United vacancy last winter, doesn’t have head coaching experience, he's widely considered ready for the leap into a leading role.
Pineda, who signed a contract extension with the Sounders in March, is in his fifth season as an assistant coach and has helped Seattle reach lofty heights under head coach Brian Schmetzer. A former Mexican international, Pineda has deep roots in his native country, with almost all of his playing career in Liga MX, most famously with Chivas Guadalajara.
Pineda spent the last two seasons of his playing career with the Sounders, notching four goals and nine assists across 56 MLS games.
Atlanta have looked beyond the league for their previous three head coaches (Tata Martino, Frank de Boer and Heinze), though perhaps someone with MLS experience and know-how is just what the Georgia-based club needs.