HARTFORD ATHLETIC (2-0-1) vs NEW YORK RED BULLS II (1-4-2)
Date: Saturday, June 5th
Time: 7:00 PM ET
Location: Dillon Stadium, Hartford, CT
Local TV: WCTX MyTV9
International Viewers: YouTube
LAST TIME OUT:
With this past Saturday’s match being postponed due to a positive COVID test in the Real Monarchs camp, Hartford’s last match took place on May 15. Athletic’s first home match of the season ended in thrilling fashion, as a last-minute equalizer from Luka Prpa salvaged a point for Harry Watling’s side in a 1-1 draw with Pittsburgh Riverhounds. Yet again, Danny Barrera was at the heart of the action, as his pinpoint delivery was met by a glancing header at the near post from Prpa that sent Dillon Stadium into an absolute frenzy.
Hartford Athletic players Nicolás Cardona, Giovanni Calderón and Walmer Martinez will not be available for Saturday's match due to their international responsibilities. Cardona and Calderón are competing with the Puerto Rico National Team in their CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers. Cardona, who was named captain for his home country earlier this week, scored the final goal in a 7-0 victory over the Bahamas. Martinez received the call to his first international camp for El Salvador earlier this Spring. El Salvador play their next Qualifying match on Saturday against the Virgin Islands.
TAMING THE BULLS:
Saturday’s match will mark the eighth time that Athletic and RBII have met in USL Championship play. While the Red Bulls scored 9 goals in their first 2 meetings with Hartford, in the last 5 matchups they have only scored 4. Caldwell and co. will be looking to maintain this excellent defensive record on Saturday, against a Red Bulls side that have mustered up seven goals through their first seven matches of the season.
FROM THE GAFFER:
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Hartford Athletic, Danny Barrera, #10, MF (C)
The club captain has picked up right where he left off last season in the Blue and Green, with a goal and two assists in his first three appearances this season. In the last fixture with Red Bulls II, Danny opened the scoring in a dominant first half display from Athletic in New Jersey. The captain will be looking to win the midfield battle for Hartford this Saturday, while adding to his stellar form in front of goal.
New York Red Bulls II, Mandela Egbo, #39
Athletic will be keen to not give away cheap fouls in the box on Saturday, with center back Mandela Egbo having bagged three goals from the spot this season. The former Borussia Mönchengladbach man is Red Bulls’ leading scorer this season, and netted against Athletic in their fixture on April 30.
ABOUT THE OPPONENT:
The boys in Blue and Green are quite familiar with Saturday’s opposition, having taken three points from the MSU Soccer Park in New Jersey a little over a month ago. Since that 3-2 win for Athletic in April, the Red Bulls have struggled for form, having taken just 5 points from their last 6 matches. Despite their recent struggles, the Red Bulls will be looking to prove a point on Saturday at Dillon Stadium, meaning Athletic will need to be at their very best to get the three points in their first 100 percent capacity match of the season.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION:
Follow along on Twitter @hfdathletic and #HFDvNY