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FC Cincinnati loses its keeper: Mitch Hildebrandt signs with Major League Soccer's Atlanta United FC

Posted: 10:43 AM, Dec 03, 2017
Updated: 2017-12-03 16:04:04Z

CINCINNATI -- FC Cincinnati keeper Mitch Hildebrandt is moving on up: He signed Friday with Major League Soccer's Atlanta United FC.

The news came just days after the city and Hamilton County agreed to fund infrastructure for FC Cincinnati's planned stadium, a key part of its bid for an MLS franchise. The club should know in about two weeks whether it won one of the two coveted expansion spots.

Hildebrandt, 29, had been with FC Cincinnati since its inaugural season . He was a fan favorite at Nippert Stadium -- "Mitch says 'no'" became a popular club slogan for his shot-stopping skills -- and he was named the 2016 United Soccer League Goalkeeper of the Year.  

This season, Hildebrandt started all 32 games and led all goalkeepers with 100 saves in the regular season while tacking on five saves in the club's playoff against Tampa Bay Rowdies. 

Hildebrandt credited fans' passion and support for FC Cincinnati's rapid success .

"When (former FC Cincinnati coach John Harkes) brought me in to this start up club I had no idea what to expect," Hildebrandt posted Saturday. "But, after these two years I couldn't be happier that he chose me and allowed me the opportunity to be a part of this club's story."