Hartford Athletic and host Eastern Florida State sides pose at the conclusion of preseason training
There's snow on the ground in Connecticut but it hasn't kept Hartford Athletic off the pitch. Over the past two weeks, Hartford has participated in four friendlies, winning three.
On Friday, February 15th, Hartford traveled to New Jersey for a closed scrimmage with New York Red Bulls II. Hartford drew first blood as Wojciech Wójcik found some open space and put a header in the back of the net off a corner kick. In the second half, a loose ball in front of the net was calmly gathered by Alex Dixon and poked past the keeper for Hartford's second goal of the day. Stingy defense the rest of the way helped Hartford hold the score for a 2-0 victory.
Just a few days later, Hartford traveled south to Melbourne, Florida for the remainder of their preseason training. After a few training sessions (and beach sessions) the Club squared off with Miami FC. In a chaotic first half, Miami forward Mohamed Thiaw fired the opening salvo, scoring in just the 5th minute. 10 minutes later, a Hartford corner kick led to a scramble in the Miami box and ended with a penalty being awarded. Alex Dixon stepped up to the spot and slotted home the chance to tie the match up at 1.
Hartford would take the lead in the 18th minute after a through ball found Dixon down the right side, who punched the ball past an on-rushing keeper for his second goal of the match. Miami would add another goal in the 23rd minute to tie it at 2.
The tie would finally be broken in the 67th minute. Miami's Lloyd Sam picked up the ball near midfield before dashing into the Hartford box where he found Thiaw who slotted the chance away for his second goal of the match. Hartford created chances late in the match but could not finish, ultimately falling to Miami 3-2.
On Tuesday, Hartford squared off against Orlando City B. Just like he did against Red Bulls 2, Wójcik started off the scoring in the 25th minute to put Hartford ahead 1-0. Hartford surrendered a goal quickly in the second half to level the score. In the 93rd minute, still level, Sebastian Dalgaard was fouled hard and a penalty was awarded to Hartford. Jose Angulo stepped up and beat the keeper to give Hartford their second win of the preseason, 2-1.
Preseason training came to a close on Friday night with a friendly against host Eastern Florida State College. The home side found themselves with the lead after slotting away a goal in the 25th minute. But Hartford answered back quickly in the 39th minute with a goal from Sebastian Dalgaard from the top of the box. Shortly after the half, Jose Angulo drew a penalty just outside the box. Angulo scored on the ensuing free kick to put Hartford ahead for good, 2-1.