Mired in disappointing season, Atlanta United fires coach Gonzalo Pineda – Metro US

Mired in disappointing season, Atlanta United fires coach Gonzalo Pineda

MLS Atlanta Inter Miami Soccer
Atlanta United head coach Gonzalo Pineda Reyes watches during the second half of an MLS soccer match against Inter Miami Wednesday, May 29, 2024, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta United fired coach Gonzalo Pineda on Monday, less than 24 hours after another loss dropped the team further from playoff contention in Major League Soccer.

The team announced the change coming off a 3-2 home setback to Charlotte before more than 61,000 fans at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

United managed only one victory — a surprising 3-1 road triumph over Lionel Messi and MLS-leading Inter Miami last week — in its final 11 games with Pineda on the sideline. The team is 1-6-4 over that span, dropping to 13th in the Eastern Conference and 24th overall in MLS.

Assistant coach Rob Valentino will take over as interim coach while Atlanta conducts the search for Pineda’s successor.

“We are grateful to Gonzalo for his commitment and dedication to the club over the last four seasons,” club CEO and President Garth Lagerwey said in a statement. “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.”

United also fired assistant coaches Diego de la Torre and Eugenio Villazon. Goalkeeper coach Liam Curran will remain in his current role.

Pineda led Atlanta to a 34-34-39 record in league play after taking over the head coaching job during the 2021 season. The team made two playoff appearances during his four seasons at the helm, but was eliminated in the opening round both times.

AP MLS: https://apnews.com/hub/major-league-soccer