PRESENTED BY TRAVELERS
Date: Saturday, April 1st, 2023
Time: 2:00 PM ET
Location: Trinity Health Stadium, Hartford, Connecticut
Game Day Promotion: $2 Beer, $1 Hot Dogs
Local TV: None
Streaming: ESPN+ or WTNH.com
HARTFORD ATHLETIC (0-2-1) vs. ORANGE COUNTY SC (0-1-2)
LAST TIME OUT
Hartford Athletic are coming off a 1-0 loss against Birmingham Legion FC. The match started with high intensity play and many attacking chances for Hartford, but their efforts were just not enough to top Birmingham. The only goal of the match was in the 24th minute right outside of the 18 yard box, where Gabriel Alves was left alone and struck the ball perfectly into the back of the net. Hartford’s final quality chance was in the 57th minute where Kembo Kibato delivered a perfectly weighted ball into the six yard box to Antoine Hoppenot, but the forward’s shot went high and wide.
CONSISTENT CHANCE CREATION
Hartford’s offense attempted 14 shots last Saturday, their highest amount on the season so far, but didn’t score any goals to show for it. Post game, Coach Ramos said, “We weren’t consistent in chance creation… We had 14 shots, but it didn’t feel like we created 14 shots. You feel more comfortable when you are creating these opportunities and they don’t just come from individual play.” Through three matches, the Green and Blue are averaging seven chances created and per game.
A HOLE IN THE MIDFIELD
Hartford have temporarily lost two massive pieces to their midfield due to injury: Andre Lewis and Kembo Kibato. Lewis was carted off the field after suffering a head injury at Monterey Bay two weeks ago, and Kibato left last week’s game with a foot injury. The timetable on the return of both players is not certain, but both will be out for this Saturday’s match. It’s a heavy loss for Hartford, as both players are starters and key pieces to the team’s connecting play in the midfield and chance creation in the final third.
HODGE AND EDWARDS RETURN
Forward Kyle Edwards and defender Triston Hodge have returned from national team duty with their respective clubs in the CONCACAF Nations League. Edwards scored two goals on PKs for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Triston Hodge appeared in two matches for Trinidad and Tobago. Edwards is a great finisher who can be a valuable piece as a starter or off the bench for Hartford, and Hodge started the first two games of the season for the Green and Blue on the left side of their back line.
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PLAYERS TO WATCH
Hartford Athletic, Beverly Makangila, MF #6:
Beverly Makangila made his debut for Hartford this past weekend in their match against Birmingham Legion FC, playing an impactful 79 minutes. He proved his discipline and ability to defensively guide the middle in his first game, while also getting in on the action a bit going forward. Makangila played for Colorado Springs for the 2022 season, appearing in 27 games and totaling 1,544 minutes. He entered American soccer with San Diego Loyal on loan from MFK Vyskov in 2020, where he appeared in six USL Championship games for Landon Donovan’s side. As he gets his feet wet in Hartford and ups his fitness levels after missing preseason, he’s a player that help Hartford string together the midfield that they planned on in 2023.
Orange County, Milan Iloski, FW #7:
Milan Iloski has played a key role in all 270 minutes of the first three games of the season, contributing one goal and one assist so far. In the 64th minute of their last game against the Las Vegas Lights FC, Iloski tied the game at 2-2 by taking on two defenders at the top of the 18 yard box and pushing the ball to the back of the net. The 23 year old set a single season club record with 22 goals and four assists in 2022, winning the USL Championship’s Golden Boot.
Out: Andre Lewis (Head), Kembo Kibato (Foot)
Out: Brian Iloski (Foot), Owen Lambe (Leg)
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