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Player Profile: #10 Gonzalo Pineda

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He's the second best Trialist in Sounders history.

Jane G Photography

In Sigi Schmid's high-temp system the midfield is not gone over, but passed through. For several years now the desire for a classic CAM goes unfilled, and yet Seattle Sounders FC continue to score goals at a rapid rate. That pace of play is in many parts due to the play of the forward tandem and in-cutting wingers, but it could not succeed without the metronomic play of Gonzalo Pineda.

Pineda is second to Alonso in passes per game. His passes enter the attack much more often than Ozzie's pases, with more than double the key passes in a game. Getting even more granular Gonzo connects on more short key passes than Alonso does on any key pass. Together they control the pace of play, both are necessary for Seattle's style. Pineda is the last non-attacker to touch the ball in most sequences.

Gonzalo Pineda Graphic

Offense:

A quality passer who does not quite fit the mold of an attacking midfielder. Not a good shooter from distance, but can create some danger from a direct free kick. Pineda provides solid service for indirect kicks and corners and is one of the club's three best players in that respect.

Defense:

A decent standing tackler who occupies space well. Is easily beat by speed. When that occurs it forces a teammate out of preferred space. Does not go to ground, even if that is the best thing to do. Offers a relief valve in set-piece defense. Should not body a threat. Does not offer the full outlet pass.

Physique:

Aging and losing speed. Does wear down over time and needs more rest. Could be a worry in a nearly half-season of extra matches for team that makes Open Cup runs, CCL play and the MLS Cup Playoffs.

Best Case 2015:

Reduced work load to increase effectiveness in vital matches. Minutes and appearances should go down. Pineda could wind up with more assists through a slight shift in usage.