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MAILBAG: Playoff Edition

By Hartford Athletic, 10/08/20, 6:00PM EDT

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Welcome back to the mailbag! You send in questions, we give you answers! If you want to submit a question for a player, a coach, or the front office, visit hartfordathletic.com/mailbag. This mailbag comes to you just two days before our first ever playoff match against Saint Louis FC at Dillon Stadium at 7 PM. Let's get to your questions!

Jessica G. asks, "How can I get tickets for Saturday's match?"

Unfortunately, tickets for Saturday's match are already sold out. However, you can enter to win 2 tickets to the match by clicking here! In the event we have more playoff matches at Dillon Stadium this year, you can guarantee your seat for the playoffs by placing a deposit on 2021 Season Tickets. Visit hartfordathletic.com/seasontickets for more information.

Edison C. asks, "I'm new to the playoff system, how does it work?"

Thanks for asking Edison, we're all somewhat new to the playoff system this year as it has been slightly adjusted for COVID-19. Upon the restart of the season, all teams were placed in geographic groups. Teams rarely traveled outside of their groups but most teams had one or two crossover games with the closest group geographically. The top two teams in each group qualify for the playoffs, with the winners of each group hosting the first round. We are hosting Saint Louis, the second place team in Group E, the closest group to ours geographically. If we were to win, we would advance to the second round where we would play the winner of Louisville City FC (first place in Group E) and Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (second place in Group F). This is done to keep travel to a minimum. As you advance in the playoffs the team with the higher point total hosts the match. The winner of USL Championship Final wins the cup. There is no promotion/relegation in American soccer.

Sean M. asks, "I saw capacity is increased to 40% for this match. What measures are in place to make sure I will be safe at the stadium?"

Hi Sean, we want to start by saying thank you to all our fans who have supported us and come to our matches throughout the season. Our fans have followed our rules without any complaints and have shown a real consideration for others. Now, to answer your question, all of our original protocols remain in place. Masks must be worn at all times unless actively eating or drinking, fans must remain socially distant in their seats and in lines (this will be marked for you), and security and cleaning crews have been increased to ensure our fans can enjoy the game safely. For the full list of stadium protocols, please visit hartfordathletic.com/dillon-stadium.

Armin A. asks, "What made you a soccer player?"

Mike Novotny: When I was really young, my brother was a goalkeeper and he went to goalkeeper training every Saturday. I would just come along and hang out on the side and kick the ball around. Then one day, the goalie coach asked me if I wanted to hop in, and to this day I've always been a goalkeeper and that coach has actually been my goalie coach ever since. 

Alex Lara: I guess you can say soccer has always been a part of my life. My two older brothers played soccer for a really long time and my dad also played soccer, so did my grandpa. Growing up, soccer was always a part of my life and I knew it was what I wanted to do. I was so passionate about it and from a really young age, I was already in the soccer world and knew I wanted to be a professional and make a career out of it. Just seeing my older brothers and my dad, watching games with them, going to their games, and watching them play, that's how I got into it. 

@forzamike asks, "Can you reveal if the club is in talks to bring Gunnersaurus Rex to the Dill?"

At this time we have no comment on Gunnersaurus. We are always evaluating all options to make this club as good as it can possibly be. While it is unlikely that Gunnersaurus would join Hartford, never say never...

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