PRESENTED BY TRAVELERS
Hartford Athletic will play their first match away from home in the month of May at FC Tulsa this Saturday.
Date: Saturday, May 21st, 2022
Time: 8:30PM ET
Location: ONEOK Field, Tulsa, OK
Local TV: WCTX MyTV9
Streaming: ESPN+ or hartfordathletic.com/watch
HARTFORD ATHLETIC (2-6-1) vs FC TULSA (4-7-0)
LAST TIME OUT
Hartford Athletic are coming off a thrilling 3-2 victory over the New York Red Bulls II last Saturday, capped off by a stoppage time winner from Corey Hertzog. With the game tied 2-2 in the second minute of stoppage time, Hartford were given a corner kick. Danny Barrera delivered a quality ball into the box that was headed by Conor McGlynn and touched into the net by Corey Hertzog from just a few feet in front of the goal, sealing the win for Hartford. The Green and Blue took and lost the lead twice, with goals from Luka Prpa off of a throw-in and Joel Johnson off of another corner kick. Offensively, this was Hartford’s best game of the season. It was the first time they scored more than one goal in league play, they took 18 shots (seven on target), and had 2.31 expected goals while scoring three.
WHAT A WIN WILL DO
Corey Hertzog has been a massive lift to Hartford Athletic since he joined the club on April 26th. The team has won two out of the three games he’s played in, and he’s recorded an assist and a critical game winning goal. When asked about the team’s confidence last Saturday, Hertzog said “It’s amazing what a win will do, no matter how we get it (referring to the 1-0 win over Loudoun a week prior), and then the goals will come. We believed that [tonight] and showed it on the pitch.” The confidence and belief from Hartford created their highest scoring match of the season so far against NYRBII.
IN BETWEEN THE POSTS
Jimmy Slayton had made four starts in a row for Hartford before being sidelined last week due to a hip flexor injury, with Austin Pack filling in for him. The Wethersfield, CT native has been reliable, posting a 1.38 GAA and making 13 saves in four starts for Hartford. However, Slayton is still listed as questionable for the Green and Blue heading into Saturday. If he is unable to play, Hartford will have recent signing Yannik Oettl as an option in addition to Austin Pack. Oettl has yet to appear for Hartford this season and Pack has posted a 1.88 GAA, making 11 saves across five starts.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Hartford Athletic, Luka Prpa, MF #11
Luka Prpa has made two starts in a row for Hartford, and he’s taken full advantage of his recent boost in playing time. He scored the opening goal last week against NYRBII, and the midfielder has shown confidence while putting pressure on the opposition in the attacking third. In the last two games, he’s had five touches inside the 18-yard box and has attempted five shots. When Prpa is on the ball in a scoring area, he does not hesitate to go for goal. The 23-year old in his second year with the club is having a quality month of May.
Tulsa FC, J.J. Willams, FW, #23
J.J. Williams has been the leader of Tulsa’s front three so far this season. He leads the team in shots with 23, and in goals with five across eight starts and twelve total appearances. All five of those goals came in the month of April, earning him a USL Championship Player of the Month nomination. Despite not recording an assist yet, he’s proven to be an important distributor with nine key passes on the year, the second most on his Tulsa squad.
ABOUT THE OPPONENT
Tulsa FC are coming off a 5-1 road loss to Orange County SC last Saturday, their largest margin of defeat so far in 2022. Tulsa has conceded the second-most goals in the league (24) and has the highest Expected Goals Against mark (20.74xGA) of any team in the league. Offensively, they’ve shown the ability to score at a high rate against strong opponents, with three-goal performances against Pittsburgh and Birmingham, but have scored just six goals in their last five games. They are led by forward JJ Williams, who has five goals across 11 appearances. Saturday will be the first ever matchup between the two clubs.
Out: Ariel Martinez (Achilles), Juan Carlos Obregón Jr. (Knee), Damon Rouse
Questionable: Jimmy Slayton (Hip flexor)
Questionable: Sean Lewis (Upper body)
Suspended: Adrian Diz Pe (1 match, RC)
JOIN THE CONVERSATION:
Follow along on twitter @hfdathletic and #TULvHFD