The Goalkeeper Union is in session, with Mitch Hildebrandt and Alec Kann sitting down to answer questions from fans in a Live A&A. Here's the best from the day, presented by Chick-Fil-A:
How do you relax after work?
Mitch: I go home and watch TV with the dogs. The wife comes home and we just relax.
Alec: I’m equally exciting. Go to coffee shops, read books, walk the BeltLine, do yoga. All relaxing options.
What superhero would you want to be?
Alec: Batman was always my favorite of the moves, so I’ll go with that.
Mitch: Who was your favorite Batman?
Alec: Dark Night. Heath Ledger, best to ever do the Joker.
Mitch: I think I’d be Superman. I’d like to fly, I think that would be pretty cool.
Do you have to have a beard to be a goalkeeper?
Mitch: I don’t think Brad can grow a beard.
Alec: I’d like to know the statistics about bearded goalkeepers versus field players. It seems like there are a lot of bearded goalkeepers.
What do you like about Tata’s style of play?
Alec: As goalkeepers, it’s nice to be involved in the buildup, to be able to use our feet and show that we’re more than just shot-stoppers, cross-catchers and breakaway savers. We can start attacks and help build up from back to front.
Any tips for aspiring goalkeepers?
Mitch: I think my biggest tip is to just continue to hone your craft. If you let in a goal, it’s not the end of the world. Pick what you did right or wrong, try to replicate the right things and fix the wrong things. None of us are perfect, we still have days where we pick things out we still need to work on. It’s all about just continuing to get better.
Mitch: I’m going to go old school and say Oliver Kahn. He was probably my favorite growing up.
Alec: I have to go with David de Gea, big Dave de Gea.
Which is your GOAT goalkeeper?
Alec: I’d say Peter Schmeichel or Oliver Kahn. Those are the two that come to my mind.
Mitch: I’ll revert to Oliver Kahn as the GOAT, but I also love Iker Casillas. He’s still playing so I’ll throw him in there too.
Pickiest eater on the team?
Alec: I can tell you who isn’t the pickiest eater on the team, Mikey Ambrose. He’ll eat literally anything, including four hard-boiled eggs for dinner.
Mitch: Yea and don’t forget the hot sauce.
Favorite Mexican dish?
Alec: I’m not a huge Mexican guy, but some solid chips and guacamole is excellent.
Keeper of the year in MLS?
Mitch: There have been some good performances, but I feel like Brad has had a stellar year.
Alec: That’s a cop-out answer but I’ll take it.
Mitch: I do see him every day.
Alec: Brad is up there. I would say him or Tim Melia, racking up shutouts and kind of going under the radar.
What position did you play beside goalkeeper?
Mitch: I played forward and outside back before I started playing goalkeeper. I was a poacher. I’m pretty sure me and Josef would be the same exact player if I didn’t play goalkeeper. Just score goals.
Alec: You would’ve set the record.
Mitch: Oh yeah, totally (laughs).
Best singer on the squad?
Alec: Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu for sure, John Legend-esque
What would you do if you weren’t playing soccer?
Alec: I’d probably go back to school, I don’t know if that’s a profession. That or coaching, goalkeeper coach would be a pretty good gig.
Mitch: Probably somewhere in soccer, maybe front office type of work. I think that interests me.
Mitch, are you excited to play against your former club next year?
Mitch: It’ll be fun. Cincinnati is coming into the league next year. It’ll be interesting, they’ll be in our conference, so we’ll play them two or three times. It’ll be fun, it’ll be a good atmosphere.
Favorite city to visit?
Alec: My favorite MLS city to visit is Vancouver. I like the Pacific Northwest, all solid cities.
Mitch: Chicago. My wife is from Chicago so we go every Christmas. It’s just super nice up there.
What’s your favorite Atlanta neighborhood?
Alec: Mitch basically lives in South Carolina.
Mitch: Yea, I’m out in the suburbs. I’ve been to Buckhead. I’d say that, I’ve heard about that one.
Alec: Classic out-of-town answer. I’d have to go with Inman Park or Cabbagetown.
How do you communicate with the defense considering the language barrier?
Mitch: I learned the ten most important soccer phrases in Spanish.
Alec: I took Spanish classes a little bit in high school and college. I’ve been learning a little bit. But I grew up in Atlanta and played with a bunch of guys who were native Spanish speakers so I feel pretty solid on it.