Pineda played in 56 league matches for the Sounders, starting 24 of his 28 appearances during the team's Supporters'-Shield-winning season in 2014 alongside Osvaldo Alonso.

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Former Sounders midfielder Gonzalo Pineda, who spent two seasons with Seattle prior to his retirement in 2015, has rejoined the club as an assistant coach under Brian Schmetzer.

Pineda played in 56 league matches for the Sounders, starting 24 of his 28 appearances during the team’s Supporters’-Shield-winning season in 2014 alongside Osvaldo Alonso. A former Mexican national team member, Pineda participated in the 2006 World Cup. He spent the previous year working as a studio analyst for Univision.

“Gonzalo was always the type of player that you knew would eventually become a coach,” Schmetzer said in the club release. “His experience and leadership were valuable assets to our locker room, and he never hesitated to stay late and do extra work with younger players. I know he will be a positive addition to our staff.”

Cristian Roldan, in particular, has spoken at length about Pineda’s positive influence on his development as a player. During training camp prior to Roldan’s rookie season in 2015, the veteran would stay up late schooling the UW product on how to study film, imparting his lessons of the game. Roldan has since filled into Pineda’s former slot next to Alonso in the Sounders midfield, playing a leading role in Seattle’s MLS Cup run.

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“I couldn’t be more excited to come back to Seattle and join Coach Schmetzer’s staff,” Pineda said. “After retiring as a player, it was only a matter of time before I found myself returning to the pitch, and coming back to the Sounders was the perfect fit. It was an honor playing for this club and I can’t wait to start the next phase of my career with a first-class organization.”

Pineda steps into an assistant coaching vacancy left by Ante Razov’s departure to Los Angeles. There was no immediate word on what his specific focus will be on staff.