Atlanta United goalkeeper and Georgia native Alec Kann had a very unfortunate moment in the club’s 2-1 preseason loss to Columbus Crew SC on Saturday evening. With his club leading 1-0 in the second half, a botched clearance attempt struck the Crew’s Federico Higuain and ricocheted into Atlanta’s goal for an embarrassing equalizer.
This is one way to give up your first preseason goal pic.twitter.com/qgeVtmvrXS— Dirty South Soccer (@DirtySouthSoc) February 18, 2017
As you’d expect, social media had a field day with the humorous moment and Atlanta United fans were rightfully upset about the gaffe that turned momentum squarely in Columbus’ favor. To his credit, Kann faced the media after the match, took the blame, and explained what happened.
“Things like that happen,” Kann told reporters. “Thankfully it was a preseason game. It’s just a bonehead move on my part. Got to learn from it and move on.”
“Ty [Mears] was open on that side. [Federico] Higuain was on my blindside. I saw him out of the corner of my eye and I tried to rush it. Usually that ball hits him and goes out for a goal kick. But, unfortunately, it went in the goal.”
The initial reaction from supporters of Atlanta was an obvious one. With the club already announcing that U.S. national team goalkeeper Brad Guzan would be arriving in the summer, the calls for him to get here as soon as possible began. The irony in this is quite comical for anyone who has paid close attention to Guzan through his career.
The fact of the matter is, goalkeeper mistakes happen all the time in soccer. The best in the world make them. Manuel Neuer to David De Gea, it doesn’t matter. They just happen. It’s a tough position to play and they are inevitable.
While the thought of a national team goalkeeper like Guzan coming to save the day from the younger Kann seems like a saving grace, Guzan isn’t a stranger to mistakes either.
In the Georgia Dome no less, it was his mistake of carrying the ball outside of the box that led to Jamaica scoring a free kick in the 2015 Gold Cup semifinal. A Premier League veteran like Guzan isn’t immune to mistakes. Exhibit B is this infamous mis-kick that leads to an easy goal for Sergio Aguero:
Mistakes happen, especially for goalkeepers. Thankfully Kann’s mishap occurred in a preseason match that no one will remember in a month’s time. In all likelihood, Kann will be Atlanta’s No. 1 goalkeeper for half of the season. Joking about the gaffe is fine, it’s human nature. But, it’s not time to legitimately panic about the club’s goalkeeping situation. Kann made one fantastic save in the match that will be overshadowed by the comical error. He will be a perfectly fine goalkeeper for Atlanta United to rely on as the season approaches.