Hartford Athletic have signed goalkeeper Joe Rice, pending league and federation approval. Rice joins Richard Sánchez as the second goalkeeper on Hartford’s 2023 roster.
“I wanted to put myself in the most competitive environment this year and with the roster that Coach Ramos is assembling here in Hartford, you can feel that this group is going to be special,” said Rice. “Getting to work with high level pros and coaches, there’s nothing but success to be had here with the right mentality and work ethic.”
Rice comes to Hartford Athletic after spending the majority of the 2022 season with Loudoun United FC and being loaned to Detroit City FC in September. Across five starts with Loudoun, the 26 year old made 20 saves and posted a 1.99 GAA. He won USL Championship Save of the Week honors in Week 11 for denying a breakaway chance from Golden Boot runner up Phillip Goodrum (Memphis 901 FC).
“Joe is another excellent addition to our roster,” said Head Coach Tab Ramos. “He is a hard worker and has shown his ability at the professional level with his many highlight-reel saves. I’m looking forward to having a strong goalkeeper group.”
Rice began his professional career in 2019 when he signed a contract with the Richmond Kickers of USL League One. He signed with New England Revolution II in 2020, making nine appearances and winning the League One Save of the Year at season’s end. The six-foot-four-inch goalkeeper made a miraculous save in a match against Forward Madison on September 4, 2020, batting a floating header over the crossbar just inches before it crossed the goal line. Rice was announced as a returning player as the Revolution II made the jump to MLS Next Pro ahead of the 2021 season. In total, he made 29 appearances over two seasons for New England Revolution II.
“We are happy that Joe has joined our club,” said Technical Director Ray Reid. “He is an experienced goalkeeper. We are excited about watching him compete at Hartford Athletic and he will continue to develop under Dan Gaspar.”
A Fairfax, Virginia native, Rice played collegiately at Virginia Commonwealth University and appeared in six matches for the VCU Rams. He spent a year as a redshirt player and his tenure lasted from 2014-2018. While he was studying at VCU, he played in the National Premier Soccer League locally for Chesterfield United FC and Virginia Beach City FC.
Hartford Athletic has signed the following players for the 2023 season:
Forwards: Elvis Amoh, Jeciel Cedeño, Kyle Edwards, Antoine Hoppenot, Prince Saydee
Midfielders: Danny Barrera, Jonathan Filipe, Kembo Kibato, Andre Lewis, Conor McGlynn
Defenders: Ash Apollon, Triston Hodge, Robin Lapert, Niall Logue, Kaveh Rad, Tulu
Goalkeepers: Joe Rice, Richard Sanchez
More player announcements will be announced in the coming weeks. Tickets for Hartford’s home opener on March 25th against Birmingham Legion FC are available now at hartfordathletic.com/single.