Atlanta United today announced it has signed Mitch Hildebrandt. The 29-year-old goalkeeper spent the last two seasons with FC Cincinnati and was named the 2016 United Soccer League (USL) Goalkeeper of the Year.
“Over the last two years, Mitch has done very well at the USL level and he has earned an opportunity to play in MLS,” said Atlanta United Vice President and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra. “We are pleased to add him to our roster and confident in his ability to add to the overall quality of our goalkeeper contingent.”
Hildebrandt joined FC Cincinnati prior to the club’s inaugural season in 2016 and guided it to back-to-back USL Cup Playoffs appearances. In 2016, he was named the league’s Goalkeeper of the Year after compiling a 0.862 goals against average with 10 clean sheets. He helped lead the team to a third-place finish in the Eastern Conference. A Livonia, Michigan native, Hildebrandt began his professional career in 2012 with the Minnesota Stars of the North American Soccer League, now Minnesota United of MLS. He is a graduate of Oakland University where he played collegiately for the Golden Grizzlies.
This year, Hildebrandt led FC Cincinnati to the 2017 U.S. Open Cup Semifinals where the club ultimately lost to New York Red Bulls 3-2. In five matches, he produced three clean sheets in matches against Louisville City FC (June 1), Columbus Crew SC (June 15) and Miami FC (Aug. 3). Then in the Round of 16, Hildebrandt heroically saved three penalties in a shootout to lead FC Cincinnati to an upset win over Chicago Fire. In league play, Hildebrandt started all 32 games and helped lead the club to a sixth-place finish. He also led USL in saves.
The MLS offseason officially begins Sunday, Dec. 10 with a half-day trade window from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Newcomer LAFC will take part in the MLS Expansion Draft on Tuesday, Dec. 12 at 2 p.m. Free agency will then officially open later that day at 3 p.m. The Waiver Draft will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 13 at 3 p.m. before the Re-Entry process begins with Stage 1 on Friday, Dec. 15 (3 p.m.) and Stage 2 on Thursday, Dec. 21 (2 p.m.).
Name: Mitch Hildebrandt
Birthdate: Nov. 12, 1988 (age: 29)
Birthplace: Livonia, Michigan
Previous Club: FC Cincinnati
Transaction: Signed with Atlanta United on Dec. 1, 2017