Hartford Athletic, fresh off its first home win in club history last weekend, will host top-three side Nashville SC on Sunday afternoon. Hartford is currently riding a four-match unbeaten run, and it will hope to add more fuel to its playoff push with a positive result against one of the Eastern Conference’s top teams. Here’s what you need to know:
HARTFORD ATHLETIC vs NASHVILLE SC
Date: Sunday, June 16
Time: 3:00 PM ET
Location: Pratt and Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field
Tickets: https://bit.ly/2MQE6Rw Use the promo code HAFDAY for a special Buy One Get One offer!
Local TV: WCTX MyTV9
WHERE TO WATCH:
Thomas Hooker Brewery at Colt, 140 Huyshope Ave., Hartford
City Steam Brewery and Cafe, 942 Main St., Hartford
2nd Bridge Brewing Co., 642 Hilliard St., Manchester
Lakeview Restaurant & Bar, 50 Lake St., Coventry
V's Trattoria, 280 Trumbull St, Hartford, CT 06103
LAST TIME OUT:
Hartford Athletic defeated Saint Louis FC at Rentschler Field last Saturday night, earning a come-from-behind, 2-1 victory. The visitors struck first in the 16th minute, when Saint Louis fullback Matt Bahner’s first-time, curling effort off a weak Hartford clearance hit the top left post and fell into the back of the net. Hartford equalized 11 minutes later, as Harry Swartz acrobatically dinked Wojciech Wojcik’s diagonal cross past the diving Jake Fenalson. Swartz, Sebastian Dalgaard, and company largely controlled the rest of the match and created numerous threatening chances, and their efforts were finally rewarded in the 84th minute. Dalgaard fielded an awkward cross and was clipped by Bahner as he cut inside, winning a penalty for Hartford. Substitute Philip Rasmussen calmly blasted the spot-kick into the top-left corner, powering the Athletic to its first-ever home win.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Hartford Athletic – Sebastian Dalgaard, MF
Dalgaard, a winger, easily possesses one of the squad’s more dangerous skillsets. The 27-year old is a phenomenal distributor, whipping in the most crosses on the team this season (31) while also tying for the team lead in key passes (13). Additionally, Dalgaard is extremely skilled with the ball at his feet, skipping past defenders on the wing and making incisive runs toward goal. The Dane was arguably Hartford’s best attacking player on Saturday night, creating 3 chances and winning the eventual go-ahead penalty. He must maintain his confidence and assertiveness if Hartford hopes to create against Nashville’s rock-solid back line.
Nashville SC – Daniel Ríos, FW
Ríos is one of the USL Championship’s most prolific attackers. The Mexican forward, who earned 2018 All-League First Team honors, has picked up right where he left off this season, hitting the back of the net 8 times in 14 matches (T-4th in the league). He is a complete menace in the penalty area, getting on the end of teammates’ crosses and turning them goalward. Hartford must try to close down Nashville wingers and minimize Ríos’ service in order to stymie one of the league’s best attacking sides.
ABOUT THE OPPONENT:
Nashville SC currently occupies 3rd place in the Eastern Conference standings, trailing New York Red Bulls II and the league-best Tampa Bay Rowdies by 1 and 4 points, respectively. The “Music City” side is unbeaten in its last five league matches, winning three and drawing two over that span. The visitors are also one of the more well-rounded teams in the USL Championship, currently top ten in goals scored and goals conceded. While forward Daniel Ríos leads the team with 8 goals, South African midfielder Lebo Moloto is the side’s best assist man (4).
Updates on the match will be provided via Twitter at @hfdathletic or by following #HFDvNSH.