HARTFORD ATHLETIC (8-7-3) vs PITTSBURGH RIVERHOUNDS SC (11-6-4)
Date: Saturday, August 28th
Time: 7:00 PM ET
Location: Dillon Stadium, Hartford, CT
Local TV: WCTX MyTV9
LAST TIME OUT:
Hartford Athletic came up just short, taking on a red-hot Miami FC squad, falling 2-0 on a swelteringly hot and humid evening at Riccardo Silva Stadium. Harry Watling and company find themselves in a three-way tie for fourth place in the USL Championship’s Eastern Conference, Atlantic Division alongside the Charleston Battery and Charlotte Independence.
FIRST AND LAST BLOOD:
There is a noticeable pattern in the Athletic squad this season that if worked upon could be the difference in their season. When Athletic score first, they are 8-2-1. However, when Hartford concedes first, their record is 0-5-2. If Coach Watling can find a plan B for these games when they are up against it, it might just be the boost they need to strengthen their form heading into the final months of the season.
A LOOK AHEAD:
After a busy August that saw Hartford struggle to build a consistent run of form, the squad will be entering an even more congested September. Compared to 6 matches played in August, the Athletic will play 8 matches in September, 5 of which will be at home. Hartford’s home record of 4-1-3 is strong, and with 5 of the 8 matches in September being at Dillon, the Athletic faithful will look to back their boys in green in the toughest month of the season.
FROM THE GAFFER:
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Hartford Athletic, Jeff Caldwell, GK #13
Despite conceding 2 away to Miami, Jeff saved 6 of the 8 shots on target in the match. Caldwell is joint-first for saves in the league this season, and Hartford’s continued reliance on him to keep them in games when they’re up against it has made him one of their most valuable and consistent players this season. Hartford will look to him to keep Pittsburgh out in another must win game for the Athletic.
Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Russell Cicerone, FW #10
Russell comes to Dillon after a stellar Man of the Match performance against Atlanta United II where he netted a hat-trick to give Pittsburgh an emphatic 4-1 victory. At 26 years-old, Cicerone is having a fantastic season, with 11 goals and 4 assists in 21 matches. Last time Russell played Hartford, he assisted Alex Dixon’s second of the night, which saw Pittsburgh ultimately come away with a 3-1 win.
Questionable: Luka Prpa (Foot), Richie Schlentz (Hamstring)
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC:
Out: Albert Dikwa (Groin), Jordan Dover (Lower Body), Josh Gatt (Knee), Jalen Robinson (Lower Body)
ABOUT THE OPPONENT:
Pittsburgh travel to Hartford after a convincing 4-1 win at home to Atlanta United II. Winger Russell Cicerone turned up on the day for Pittsburgh and provided a stunning hat-trick to, taking his tally this season to 11 goals and 4 assists in 21 matches. Despite a slow start to the season, Pittsburgh bounced back and currently sit second in the Eastern Division with 37 points. A win against Hartford would only strengthen their hold on second place heading into the second half of the season.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION:
Follow along on twitter @hfdathletic and #HFDvPIT