HARTFORD ATHLETIC (3-1-1) vs LOUDOUN UNITED FC (1-5-0)
Date: Saturday, June 19th
Time: 7:00 PM ET
Location: Dillon Stadium, Hartford CT
Local TV: WCTX MyTV9
International Viewers: YouTube
LAST TIME OUT:
Hartford suffered their first setback of the season in a 3-2 thriller at the Matthews Sportsplex in North Carolina. After Jeff Caldwell’s penalty save heroics, Hartford twice took the lead in the match with goals from Danny Barrera and Preston Tabort Etaka. However, two wonder goals from Dane Kelly and Valentin Sabella, either side of a deflected Marcelo Palomino effort, meant that Hartford’s undefeated start to the season came to an end.
DEPTH IN NUMBERS:
It is no secret that Coach Watling possesses one of the deepest squads in the entire USL. However, that depth was on display Sunday night when Preston Tabort Etaka came on for the injured Bradford Jamieson. In a 66-minute showing, Preston scored one goal, assisted the other for Danny Barrera, and created two chances, while having a pass success rate of 84 percent. Not only was this a brilliant individual performance from Preston, it highlights the top-class attitude in the squad of being ready when called upon.
A FIGHTING SPIRIT:
Not only is this the slogan for Modelo (who’s giant inflatable beer can you’ll notice near the goal on the south end of the stadium), a fighting spirit has been brewing within the Hartford squad. In their last three matches against Pittsburgh, Red Bulls and Charlotte, Hartford have outdueled the opposition, winning 52 percent of their duels on average across those three games.
FROM THE GAFFER:
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Hartford Athletic, Preston Tabort Etaka, FW #23
A fantastic individual showing in our last match, Preston now has 4 goal contributions (3 goals, 1 assist) in as many matches. Our number 23 is averaging a goal every 73 minutes, which is the second-best average in the entire USL Championship.
Loudon United, Timmy Mehl, DF #29
The 25-year-old center back has been a shining light for Loudon in their start to the season. While Loudon are bottom of the Eastern Atlantic Division, they have conceded the same amount of goals as second-placed Charlotte Independence (10), with Mehl being the vital cog in Loudon’s stern backline.
OUT - Luka Prpa (foot), Bradford Jamieson IV (hamstring), Sebastian Elney (knee)
QUESTIONABLE: Gabi Torres (hand), Nii Armah Ashitey (knee)
Loudoun United: None
ABOUT THE OPPONENT:
A stern test awaits Athletic for Saturday’s match against Loudon United. Despite the Virginia-based side’s slow start to the season, where they have only accumulated three points, each of their games have been decided by one goal. While the match at Dillon will be a great opportunity to get back to winning ways, the boys in Blue and Green will be eager to avoid a cagey affair with a side that was close to taking points off of top-of-the-table Tampa Bay.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
Follow along on Twitter @hfdathletic and #HFDvLDN