Major League Soccer

Alec Kann signs for FC Cincinnati following Atlanta United departure

Chris Smith
Kann has established himself as one of the best No.2s in MLS, can he cut it as a first-choice goalkeeper?
Kann has established himself as one of the best No.2s in MLS, can he cut it as a first-choice goalkeeper? / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

FC Cincinnati have completed the signing of former Atlanta United goalkeeper Alec Kann.

The 31-year-old's acquisition is the first major move by new head coach Pat Noonan as he seeks to turn fortunes around in Cincinnati, who have finished bottom overall in each of their three MLS campaigns to date. Kann has signed through the 2023 season with an option for 2024.

“Adding talent to the goalkeeper position was a priority for us this offseason,” said FC Cincinnati general manager Chris Alright in a club press release. “Alec is an experienced and athletic goalkeeper who understands what winning looks like in this league, and he’s a valuable addition to FC Cincinnati.”

In five years with Atlanta United, Kann made 30 appearances across all competitions as back-up to Brad Guzan, playing a part in MLS Cup, US Open Cup, and Campeones Cup-winning campaigns.

Five of those appearances came in 2021 as Guzan was on international duty with the United States. During that time, Kann averaged 4.8 saves per 90 minutes while throughout his spell with the Five Stripes, he was regarded as one of the best No.2 goalkeepers in the league thanks to his cat-like reflexes.

Speaking via a club press release, Atlanta United technical director Carlos Bocanegra revealed the club was working on a deal to re-sign Kann, but that talks fell through when the chance to become a first-choice 'keeper came about.

“We had an agreement with Alec to re-sign in free agency, however, an opportunity came up for him to be the No. 1 goalkeeper after doing a great job as our No. 2 over the last five seasons," he said. "He joined Atlanta United for our expansion season in 2017 and was a great teammate, a great person and we want to thank him for his service to the club."

Kann is the third player to leave Atlanta United for another MLS club this offseason following Charlotte FC's capture of center-back Anton Walkes in the recent Expansion Draft and Franco Escobar joining LAFC in exchange for $600k General Allocation Money (GAM).

The Five Stripes are linked with Velez playmaker Thiago Almada and Seattle Sounders center-back Shane O'Neill but are yet to make a move of their own this winter.