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May 1, 2014 at 9:44 AM

Gonzalo Pineda on his early season success: ‘It is surprising for me, also.’

My story for Thursday’s paper focused on the early season success of midfielder Gonzalo Pineda and his important, yet unsung, role in the team’s rise to first place. The story also focused on a blossoming relationship in the middle of midfield with Sounders’ stalwart Osvaldo Alonso.

Here is a transcript of the interview with Pineda:

*     *     *

(Your partner in the middle of midfield, Osvaldo Alonso, has become a very popular player here. Have you picked up on that? And what do you make of Alonso as a player?) “Yes, of course. I think Ozzie is a great player. I didn’t know how much people love him, but from the very beginning I understood he was an important player. I didn’t know even his name, I didn’t even know he was the MVP, but he’s a very good player. He trains very (well). He’s always on the field. (Against Chivas), he was like a giant inside. I like very much how he plays, and how he recovers a lot of balls for us.”

(Do you feel your understanding together is improving?) “Yeah, we try. If he wants to move on one side or the other, I’ll move away. If I want to take a little bit of the ball, he lets me do that. We have a lot of communication on the field and outside also. We try to do a good job.”

(You had talked about coming off the sports hernia surgery. Did you expect having this kind of impact so early in the season?) “No, it is surprising for me, also. After one year without training, without any games, I figured out in my mind that after seven or eight games I will start to fight for a place in the 11. Second game, I get in, and right now I’m starting every game — that’s good news for me.”

(Have you been building a relationship with Ozzie off the field?) “Yeah, we are good friends. We are roommates. He’s a good person. Also, he speaks Spanish, and with him, Pappa and Leo, we talk a lot off the field. Besides speaking Spanish, he’s also a very good man, and I try to be around good people.”

(Do you think having a Spanish-speaking player helps Ozzie?) “Probably. I don’t know. What I can say is I feel very comfortable with Ozzie in midfield. I don’t know that speaking Spanish makes the difference. I think Ozzie can play with anyone because he’s a very good player.”

(Coaches have praised you for organizing on the field and being vocal. Has that always been part of your game?) “Yeah, sometimes too much. … (laughs) I don’t know. I can’t let things happen and not say something. If I see something, I try to tell my teammates and say, ‘Hey, what if we do this or what if we do that?’ The opponent is doing this. We can stop them by doing this.’ I try to do it. Here it’s difficult because sometimes I don’t know how to quickly say in English in the game, but I try my best to help my teammates in that way.”

| More in Sounders FC, Stop and chats


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