Alex Kapp has endured a tumultuous half year. But with Minnesota United, he might have finally found some stability.
The 22-year-old goalkeeper signed on with the Loons officially a week ago, becoming United's third-choice keeper behind starter Bobby Shuttleworth and backup Patrick McLain. United had been in the market for another netminder after John Alvbage's loan expired July 23.
Kapp, though, had been biding his time since the end of June when he came to the Loons as an extra body for training after his agent received a call from the club. While the weeks of training ultimately ended up with his first Major League Soccer contract, it wasn't the New York native's first shot at a pro career.
In January, fellow expansion side Atlanta United FC drafted the 6-foot, 190-pounder No. 68 overall. But Kapp had torn his labrum while playing his graduate year at Creighton (he spent four seasons at Boston College before that) and wasn't fully recovered until mid-May. He eventually flew to Atlanta for two weeks, but the club had just signed U.S. national team goalkeeper Brad Guzan.
"[There] just really wasn't any room on the roster for me, so kind of just decided to part ways at that point," Kapp said. "There's definitely been some ups and downs throughout the past six months, but it just shows the kind of character you have. ... There's a lot of different things that you'll deal with in this league, so learning early is probably better than later."
Despite the adversity, Kapp said he came into training with United with "an open mind," which led to a pretty seamless transition once he officially joined the roster. He's especially jelled with Shuttleworth, McLain and goalkeeping coach Marius Rovde. Kapp even knew Shuttleworth a little already from training with the New England Revolution, Shuttleworth's former team, back when Kapp played collegiately in Boston.
"It's a good vibe with us," Kapp said. "You have time to work, and then when you're not working, there's a little bit of banter within the group, which is good. So it's a good vibe between all of us, and I think we all bring out the best in all of us."
In the end, though, Kapp understands his role on the team is to just come to training every day ready to play.
"I just want to try to make everyone better," Kapp said.
Note: Sam Cronin took a bit of a knock in practice Monday, and coach Adrian Heath kept him out Tuesday as a precaution. But the midfielder will hopefully be back at training Wednesday, Heath said. ... Also, U.S. Bank Stadium is in the running to play host to World Cup matches in 2026. Read about it here. ... And in case you missed it, read here about MLS' sales training center located at United's practice facility, the National Sports Center, in Blaine.