CINCINNATI, OH --- FC Cincinnati’s roster continues to strengthen with the re-signing of Mitch Hildebrandt to a multi-year contract, pending USL and federation approval. Specifics of the contract will not be released per club policy.
“When we spoke to Mitch prior to signing him last year, he wanted an opportunity to prove himself and I believe he did that,” said Head Coach John Harkes. “There is a reason why he was the USL Goalkeeper of the Year. He worked on his skills constantly and also incorporated a disciplined regimen in regards to his conditioning, fitness and nutrition. We are excited to have him back because he is someone who will work tirelessly to help FCC win a USL Cup Final.”
Hildebrandt, a USL first-team honoree, posted nine clean sheets while leading the league in minutes (2,608) and games played (30). He was a three-time USL Team of the Week choice and finished the year with 72 saves and a 0.86 goals-against average.
“I couldn’t be happier about staying in Cincinnati,” said Hildebrandt. “I’m very excited about 2017 and the team that we are bringing back. The off-season will be a more relaxed one now that we’ve finalized things. With regards to training, there are things I have on the list to work on but for now, I will take the time to rest and rejuvenate so I can come back in February ready to help the team build off of 2016.”
He was a fan favorite last season with supporters chanting “Mitch Says No!” following each save by the goalie. Hildebrandt had a spectacular double-save against Toronto FC II with six minutes remaining to prevent the go-ahead goal and that effort came in at No. 3 on Sports Center’s Top 10 Plays.
“Mitch has been a fantastic player for us on the pitch and he has also been a great ambassador for the franchise, forming a strong bond with not only our Bailey supporters but also with our younger fans,” said President and General Manager, Jeff Berding. “Because we value the connection our fans have to our players, it was important to bring Mitch back and maintain a level of continuity in our roster to allow those connections to grow stronger.”
Hildebrandt started in 32 of 33 matches, logging a full 90 minutes in all but two contests. He had a save percentage of .733 and posted a single-game high of six saves against the Richmond Kickers in June.
The 6-1 standout from Livonia, Mich., joins a group of 15 players who are currently under contract for FCC for the 2017 season.