Atlanta United dismisses head coach Gonzalo Pineda

Atlanta United head coach Gonzalo Pineda on the sidelines before the first half of an MLS soccer match against Toronto FC, Saturday, March 4, 2023, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Alex Slitz)

Atlanta United announced Monday it’s parting ways with head coach Gonzalo Pineda after a disappointing 3-2 loss to Charlotte FC on Sunday, the team’s fifth straight loss at home.

“We are grateful to Gonzalo for his commitment and dedication to the club over the last four seasons. He has been an exemplary ambassador for the organization, and we want to thank him for his contributions to the club,” Atlanta United CEO and President Garth Lagerwey said in an official press release. “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.”

Pineda joined Atlanta United in 2021 after being an assistant coach for Seattle Sounders FC.

Assistant coach Rob Valentino will be interim head coach during a global search for a new permanent head coach.

It was announced that assistant coaches Diego de la Torre and Eugenio Villazon were also let go.

The team and fans were in high spirits going into Sunday’s match against Charlotte after last week’s win against Inter Miami — currently the top-ranked team in the MLS. But up until that victory, Atlanta United had gone nearly two months without a win.

“As a club, we set expectations to deliver a championship club to you this season and every season,” Lagerway said in an email to fans. “To this point, those expectations have not been met. It is my responsibility to move our club in a positive direction to match these expectations. I feel the timing of this decision gives us the best opportunity to still achieve our goals this season.”

Atlanta United is currently ranked 13th in the league.

This is a developing story and will be updated.