Pineda, who always seemed to embraced the minutiae of the sport and took a series of younger teammates under his wing, said his intention is to continue in soccer as a coach.
Former Sounders midfielder Gonzalo Pineda has retired from professional soccer at the age of 33 and will pursue a second career as a coach, the player announced Thursday at a press conference in his native Mexico.
Pineda made 53 appearances over two seasons in Seattle, scoring three goals — memorably a match-tying, chipped penalty kick against the Vancouver Whitecaps in May of 2014. When both players were healthy, Pineda and Osvaldo Alonso formed one of the top central midfield partnerships in Major League Soccer.
Pineda made 28 appearances for the Sounders in 2015 but saw his minutes taper off late in the season following the arrival of midfielder Erik Friberg. Pineda’s contract option was declined last month.
His intention to continue on as a coach won’t come as a surprise to anyone fortunate enough to talk shop with the midfielder. Pineda always came across as a diligent student of the game, a player who embraced the minutiae of the sport and took a series of younger teammates under his wing.
The one-time Mexican international earned 44 caps for El Tri, starting the team’s first three games at the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Prior to joining Seattle, Pineda built his resume at Mexican powerhouses UNAM and Chivas before bouncing around Liga MX on loan.
Pineda was played off with a tweet from his countryman and Bayer Leverkusen forward Chicharito Hernandez: