Former Sounder Gonzalo Pineda stepped onto a familiar field in a different kind of uniform, black tie over crisp white shirt and close-fitting jeans.

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Former Sounder Gonzalo Pineda stepped onto a familiar field in a different kind of uniform, black tie over crisp white shirt and close-fitting jeans.

Now a television analyst for Univision, Pineda is in Seattle for Tuesday night’s CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal between the Sounders and Club America. He was greeted warmly by his former teammates — Zach Scott wrapped him in a bear hug.

“This will always feel like home,” Pineda said with a sweeping glance around CenturyLink Field on Monday at Sounders media day.

He left his former colleagues with a pointed pep talk near midfield, taking a break from practice to gather them in a circle.

“I was saying that I’m very happy to be here to let them know that I will be cheering for them tomorrow. I hate Club America, so if (Seattle) could win tomorrow, that would be great for me,” said Pineda, who played for a succession of rival Mexican clubs during his playing career. “You know Real Madrid and Barcelona? I always played for a Barcelona, and they were always Real Madrid. That’s part of my hate for Club America.”

It will be an early test of professionalism for the new commentator, an observer notes, and Pineda shakes his head with a chuckle. Good-natured ribbing aside, he has never been one who struggled to flip the switch come game time. An astute observer of the game, it’s no surprise Pineda landed on his feet with a three-year Univision contract shortly after Seattle declined his option this past offseason.

“That’s the part of why my boss wanted me to come,” Pineda said. “He said that I would have a better perspective since I played as a professional. That’s an advantage that I will try to use for myself.

“I’ll be cheering for the Sounders a little bit, but I also have to be very critical and have to be honest with my job right now. I will try to do my best.”