On January 7, Sounders fans gasped over the news that Gonzo Pineda, a fan favorite for many years, was retiring from playing soccer. Sure, it was a shock to see him go after two years on the team plus several years playing internationally, for a total of 13 years on the field, and seeing a favorite on waivers is never easy, but retirement? It wasn’t as if Pineda wasn’t used to trying on new hats. After all, he has played for seven teams in MLS and been to the World Cup more than once, earning 44 caps and becoming a favorite worldwide.
Luckily, Pineda may not be playing on a team anymore, but he is still quite active in the world of MLS. His soccer career will continue in the world of broadcasting, but he has also spoken about possibly coaching in his future. Pineda says that he has always wanted to retire on a positive note in his career and this seemed like a good time to do it. “Seattle Sounders gave me the opportunity to return at that moment, to be a starter again. I wanted to retire with a good taste in my mouth, it was a decision I took with my family, and I believe that it’s the right time to do it,” he said. Fans may continue to see him and hear from him, depending on where he decides to work in the future.
Seattle Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid wished him well, saying that Pineda is a “true student of the game.” That is exactly the kind of quality that coaches require, so Pineda may find his true calling after all. Seattle Sounders GM and President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey also wished him well, saying that he looks forward to what Pineda will be doing next in his life.
Pineda, born on October 19, 1982, hails from Mexico City, Mexico. The defensive midfielder has appeared with many teams, including the UNAM, Guadalajara, San Luis (on loan), Cruz Azul (on loan), Puebla (on loan), and Queretaro (on loan), before joining with the Sounders in 2014. He was also on the Mexican National Team, where he appeared 44 times and scored one goal. He scored three goals during his 53 appearances with Seattle and one goal each with his time in each other team, with the exception of Guadalajara, where he scored five goals during his 128 appearances.
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia