LAST TIME OUT:
There were fireworks for Hartford Athletic on this past July 4th weekend in Virginia, as Athletic put in a professional display to see off Loudoun United 2-0. Goals from Arthur Rogers and Preston Tabort Etaka in a nine-minute stretch sealed the three points for Athletic, while Jeff Caldwell’s expertly-saved penalty in the 57th minute proved once again that Athletic have one of the best keepers in the league.
YOU SHALL NOT PASS:
Jeff Caldwell’s penalty save against Jovanny Bolivar was not only crucial for sealing the three points for Athletic, it was Jeff’s second spot-kick save of the season. The number one for Hartford has been a crux figure in the defensive unit, as Hartford have conceded two or more goals on just two occasions this year (April 30 v Red Bulls & June 13 v Charlotte). Having conceded the same amount of goals as league-leaders Tampa Bay (8), Caldwell and the rest of this brave back line will yet again be the focal point for any success that Hartford have this weekend.
BUENA SUERTE JC!
After scoring the winner in a 2-1 victory over the United States back in March, Juan Carlos Obregón Jr. has received a call-up to the Honduras squad for the Olympic Games in Tokyo! The dynamic striker, who has scored 4 goals through 8 matches for Athletic this season, has said that the call “…was a dream come true.” Honduras will compete in Group B with New Zealand, South Korea and Romania. Honduras will play their first match against Romania on July 22nd at 7 AM.
FROM THE GAFFER:
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Hartford Athletic, Arthur Rogers, MF #6
It was a memorable Sunday night for Arthur Rogers, who bagged the opening goal and put on a masterful performance in a tough fixture against Loudoun United FC. With a pass success rate of 80 percent, 4 duels won, 3 recoveries, 1 key pass, and 1 goal against Loudoun, Arthur will be looking to put on another show in midfield on Saturday, against a side that he has already scored on this season.
New York Red Bulls II, Jake LaCava, MF #64
Despite appearing for only one minute against Hartford the last edition of this fixture, LaCava has arguably been the standout for Red Bulls II. With 15 chances created through 11 matches this season, LaCava has truly found form on the left-hand side of midfield. With a goal and an assist in his last two matches, Hartford’s right side will be keeping a watchful eye over the in-form 20-year-old.
ABOUT THE OPPONENT:
The last time that Red Bulls II made the trip to Dillon, it was a night to remember for Hartford fans. Since that dominant 7-0 result for Hartford however, the Baby Bulls have found some form; they’ve taken 7 points from their last four matches, including a 2-1 loss to Pittsburgh where they nearly stole a point, two wins over Charlotte Independence, and a draw with Miami FC. Hartford will know that it is tough to beat an opponent three times in a season, especially when the visitors are picking up form, but will remain optimistic given their recent record with Red Bulls II.
Out: Bradford Jamieson IV (Hamstring), Luka Prpa (Foot)
Questionable: Gabriel Torres (Hamstring)
New York Red Bulls II:
Out: Curtis Ofori
Questionable: Michael Knapp
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