PRESENTED BY TRAVELERS
Date: Saturday, March 11th, 2023
Time: 10:00 PM ET
Location: Cardinale Stadium, Seaside, California
Local TV: WCTX MyTV9
Streaming: ESPN+ or hartfordathletic.com/watch
HARTFORD ATHLETIC (0-0-0) vs. MONTEREY BAY FC UNION (0-0-0)
Tab Ramos is in his first full season at the helm of Hartford Athletic, and the club is carrying loads of promise after the impact he made over the final six games of 2022. Hartford scored 14 goals across that stretch and won three of their last six games. In addition, despite being far out of a playoff spot, the excitement around the team buzzed within the Hartford fanbase, as the final five games at Trinity Health Stadium were sold out. Now in 2023, Ramos and Technical Director Ray Reid have revamped their roster with 14 new signings. Ramos speaks highly of the culture that this group is creating, saying, “If there’s one thing I can tell you about the players that we have this year, it’s that they care… Obviously our goal is to win every game, but if there’s a game we don’t win, that team is going to have a really tough time taking us down because these guys fight every day.”
ADDING TO THE ATTACK
Antoine Hoppenot and Elvis Amoh headlined Hartford’s offseason signings, as both forwards have achieved numbers that have not been met by prior signings in club history. Hoppenot sits in the top five in league history in assists (44), and is one of only seven 30/30 (30 goals, 30 assists) men in league history. Amoh is amongst the league’s best athletes who can finish with flair. The 6’2” striker with great speed is entering his fifth USL Championship season, scoring 13 goals in back to back seasons with Rio Grande Valley in 2021 and Colorado Springs in 2022, and has totaled 34 goals in his career.
THE CAPTAIN MANS THE BACK
Niall Logue was named captain of Hartford Athletic this week. The left-footed Irishman will lead Hartford’s back line as the starting centerback in his fourth USL Championship season, filling the shoes of Tom Brewitt (2,726 minutes last year). Known as a vocal leader, Logue brings back to back seasons of playoff experience with Memphis to Hartford’s back line in 2023.
Hartford Athletic will play their fifth straight season opener on the road (2-2 all time). Their early trip to the west coast will be followed by another one a week later, when they fly to Colorado Springs next Saturday to face the Switchbacks. They open up at home on March 25th.
Former Hartford Athletic players Alex Dixon (19-’20), Alex Lara (20-’21,) and Walmer Martinez (‘21) are all on Monterey Bay’s 2023 roster. Dixon scored 11 goals in his two seasons with Hartford, the second most in club history. The league veteran has burned his former club before, scoring against the Green and Blue with Pittsburgh in 2021.
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ABOUT THE OPPONENT
Monterey Bay FC finished 12th in last year’s competitive Western Conference, earning 40 points (four more than Hartford). Entering their second season as a member of the USL Championship, they return their leading goalscorers Chase Boone and Sam Gleadle (both with eight goals in 2022), and added 32 year old veteran Alex Dixon. Saturday will be the first ever matchup of these two clubs.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Hartford Athletic, Prince Saydee FW #7:
Prince Saydee is coming off the best season of his professional career in 2022. He led Hartford in assists (8) and contributed four goals. Saydee lightning-like speed on the ball and has great ability to beat defenders and create chances for himself and teammates. “Prince is such an exciting player,” said Tab Ramos. “I think his performance last season was just a glimpse of what he can do for this club. With his speed, distribution, and scoring ability, he can be one of the most dynamic players in this league.”
Monterey Bay FC, Chase Boone, FW #31:
Monterey Bay F.C. Sporting Director and Head Coach Frank Yallop said, “Chase is very productive in what he does, he’s got goals in him. He’s really dangerous in and around the box and is versatile as he plays a number of positions.” Last season, Boone scored eight goals and recorded two assists across 24 appearances (21 starts). The striker also tallied his first two goals in the clubs first ever win along with recording the second-most shots on target on the team with 18.
Out: Robin Lapert (hip)
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