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Mailbag: Santa, Messi, and Open Tryouts

By Hartford Athletic, 01/10/21, 9:00AM EST


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 Let's get to your questions:

Dave A. asks, "Are there any Open Tryouts coming in the near future?"

HA: This was the most common question we received. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the safety of everyone who would be involved in the tryout, we do not currently have a date set. We do have every intention to run an Open Tryout. In two seasons, we have signed three players out of Open Tryouts, two of whom (Conor McGlynn and Alfonso Vazquez) are still with the Club. Stay tuned to this website and our social media channels for updates.

@CTSoccerMike asks, "What did Santa bring you this year?"

HA: Santa was really good to us this year. He brought us an exciting new player in Nii Armah Ashitey. If you haven't heard about him yet, he's a 20 year old midfielder from Ghana with a physical and aggressive style of play. He'll bring an intensity to the pitch that is very different than any we've seen in two years thus far. If you want to read up a little more on him, click here. We also got candy, a parka for the cold winter months, and a PS5. Jealous?

Victor F. asks, "Now that Lionel Messi is free to negotiate with foreign clubs, will we be looking to sign him to increase team depth?"

HA: This is an excellent question. According to a quote from Chairman Bruce Mandell in the New England Soccer Journal, "We want players who are committed to developing and want to get to the next level." I don't want to speak for Bruce here, but I'm not sure Messi fits that mold. Never say never though.

Michael K. asks the Coaching Staff, "What would you say you've learned from last season and how would you use that knowledge for this season?"

For this question, we reached out to our Director of Scouting and Performance Analysis, Luiz Silva.

LS: The 2020 season was the first for the club to have support of GPS devices and data on training and games to monitor the work load of the players and to create benchmarking. The data created is going to provide parameters for 2021 season when it comes to season and month periodization, week cycles, positional and individual benchmarking within our style of play, systems, game strategies and training database. Similar perspective can be applied to our Performance Analysis processes when it comes to game data we started to utilize for individual development plans, team’s performance and game strategies based on opposition analysis.

Sal S. asks, "How is the search for a new coach going?"

HA: The search is going quite well and is nearly complete. We were very fortunate to have a very competitive pool of candidates from all across the globe. Be on the lookout for an announcement this week!

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