The Fire are giving Mauricio Pineda a new deal. | Courtesy of the Fire
Pineda’s new pact runs through 2023 with a team option for 2024. Mauricio Pineda is a big part of the Fire’s future, and the team is committing to him even more than it already had.
A source confirmed the Fire are giving Pineda a new contract. In July, the Fire picked up Pineda’s 2021 option on his prior deal. They also held options for 2022 and 2023 on the former agreement.
The Fire are now going one step further, handing Pineda a new pact that runs through 2023 with a team option for 2024. The deal, which has not been announced, is independent of the recent trade of Djordje Mihailovic, who was sent to Montreal for at least $800,000 in guaranteed allocation money.
The new contract caps a banner year for the Fire academy product, who signed his homegrown deal in January.
After playing as a central midfielder in college at North Carolina, Pineda spent the bulk of his rookie season at center back, where he was stationed during his time in the Fire academy. He started all 23 games, led the Fire with 2,022 minutes and scored three times, establishing himself as an automatic part of the lineup.
“It’s definitely exciting,” Pineda said after the season. “Obviously, it’s my home club, so it’s something that I’ve always dreamed of. I think the most important thing right now is just to keep taking it day by day, keep working hard and just be as ready as possible for whenever the next game is or for next season to come.”
Following the season, Pineda was summoned by the U.S. national team for its upcoming camp before the game Dec. 9 against El Salvador in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Though Pineda didn’t play and make his first senior national-team appearance, he seemed to impress US coach Gregg Berhalter.
“He’s grown tremendously throughout this last year and a half,” Berhalter said earlier this month. “He’s really improved his game. I think he had a really solid rookie season and did a great job. Very technical, good on the ball, and he’s a competitor. It’s really good to see him live in training.”
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