COLTS COMMENCE A CRUCIAL STRETCH OF THE SEASON WITH A GARDEN STATE TRIP

Hartford, Conn. – Hartford City FC (2-2-1, 7 points) begin the second half of their 2024 NPSL Regular Season schedule on Sunday, June 9th as they travel down to the Garden State to face off against New Jersey United AC (3-2-0, 9 points). Kickoff for that match is scheduled for 5pm

MATCH INFORMATION

Sunday’s match will be held at St. Joseph High School (145 Plainfield Avenue, Metuchen, NJ, 08840) and for those who cannot make it in person, New Jersey United AC will provide a live stream on their YouTube Channel with a direct link being found on their website at njunitedac.com/schedule, or by searching New Jersey United Athletic Club on YouTube.

AT THE HALFWAY MARK…

With five of the ten scheduled match weeks of the 2024 North Atlantic Conference slate in the books, Hartford City FC currently find themselves in fourth place, three points ahead of Valeo FC in fifth and six points ahead of last place Kingston Stockade FC. New Jersey United AC and Syracuse FC are currently tied for second on nine points, with Syracuse just ahead on goal difference, and the New York Shockers are at the top of the table with 13 points and a plus-7 goal difference.

LAST TIME OUT

It was a second loss in as many matches for Hartford City FC as after a last second 2-1 defeat at Valeo FC over Memorial Day Weekend, the Colts dropped a 2-0 decision to Syracuse FC last Saturday at Oakwood Soccer Park. After both teams created one chance each over the first 35 minutes, HCFC were kept off the board on two separate occasions in the final ten minutes as Syracuse goalie Andrew Taylor tipped Alonzo Clarke’s long-distance effort in the 39th minute and then stymied Evan Southern from point blank range right before halftime.

Syracuse got on the board in the 48th minute as Cailen Thomas flicked a long throw-in to the back post, which was finished off by Scott Schuyler. Hartford City came close to finding the equalizer twice over the next twenty minutes, with Eamon Moylan failing to convert a close-range header from a set piece in the 58th minute and Noah Silverman clipping the crossbar nine minutes after that. Syracuse notched their second goal of the night in the 69th minute from a swift counter-attack that ended with a Riley Williams rocket of a shot to the top corner and despite a few chances late on from the hosts, they could not break through the Syracuse FC defense, who pitched their first clean sheet of the season.

ABOUT OUR OPPONENT

 

Despite falling 3-0 to Hartford City on the first day of the season back on May 4th, there was little doubt that New Jersey United AC had plenty to offer in their expansion season. And they have proven that by winning three of their last four matches. First, the club responded to that loss to the Colts by winning their first-ever home match on May 11th with a 1-0 victory over Kingston, and followed that up with a 3-0 drubbing of Syracuse in Central New York on May 18th.

The Garden State outfit suffered a small setback over Memorial Day Weekend with a 4-1 defeat at the hands of the league-leading New York Shockers but rallied back last weekend to knock off Valeo FC 1-0, with Jeremy Klinger potting the lone goal of the day in the 29th minute. Talented striker Khaled Daoud leads the squad with three goals, two of them coming in that 3-0 victory at Syracuse, and his front running partner Diego Navas has bagged goals in the wins over Syracuse and Kingston Stockade.

HARTFORD CITY FC WELCOME SYRACUSE FC TO OAKWOOD SOCCER PARK THIS WEEKEND

Hartford, Conn. – After a heartbreaking 2-1 loss at Valeo FC over Memorial Day Weekend, Hartford City FC (2-1-1, 7 points) get back to action this Saturday, June 1st as they host Syracuse FC (2-2-0, 6 points). The match will be played at Oakwood Soccer Park in Portland, CT and will kick off at 7pm.

MATCH INFORMATION

Fans looking to purchase tickets for Saturday’s match can in person at Oakwood Soccer Park (521 Glastonbury Turnpike, Portland, CT, 06480) when gates open approximately one hour before kickoff, or online by searching Hartford City FC on Soccerstub.com. Tickets cost $10 for Adults and all children under 12 get in for free.

The match will be live streamed via Hartford City FC’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/HartfordCityFC

going live at 6:45pm with broadcaster JJ Duke handling Play-by-Play duties. Highlights on the match will be available on the teams’ social media channels in the days following.

LAST TIME OUT

Hartford City fell behind early at Valeo FC just six minutes into last Saturday’s match after Ben Kelly scored for the hosts. But Jake Williams leveled things up inside of ten minutes, picking up his first goal of the season and third total goal contribution. HCFC strung together a sequence of chances in the first few minutes of the second half when Evan Jones smashed a volley on frame, only to see Valeo FC goalie Leonard Seidel save it and just moments later, Williams nearly snuck a free kick home as well.

But Valeo would win the match in dramatic fashion after hardly testing HCFC throughout the second half as Michael Echavarria blasted a half-volley from the penalty spot from a corner kick in the third minute of second half stoppage time. The Colts had multiple chances to level the score in the final minutes when Evan Southern was denied by Seidel and both Colin Goodhines and Griffin Tomas had efforts cleared off the line by the Valeo defense. It was the first loss of the season for the Colts and the third straight regular season match that the club has dropped to Valeo, as HCFC lost twice to Massachusetts based club in the span of five days last year, 1-0 on the road on June 7 and 2-1 at home on June 11.

WELCOME BACK TO OAKWOOD

Due to Trinity Health Stadium being unavailable on Saturday, Hartford City will call Oakwood Soccer Park their home this weekend but it is not the first time that the Colts have played at this facility. Hartford City FC played all of their 2021 regular season home matches at Oakwood in the first NPSL season after the COVID pandemic and had some very good success in their short stint at the facility, going 3-1-1 during that time. And for Hartford City manager Louis Beddouri, the last time he played on this field as a member of the Colts was when he scored a screamer of a volley from an acute angle against Valeo in a 3-1 victory back on July 3, 2021, which saw the goal go viral on social media.

ABOUT OUR OPPONENT

This has been the most successful start to a season that Syracuse FC have had in many NPSL seasons, earning the most wins in a season since picking up three in 2018, and the most amount of points the club has accrued in any season playing in the North Atlantic Conference since moving over from the Midwest Region ahead of the 2022 season. After going a combined 0-10-10 in their first two seasons in this conference, the Central New York based club picked up wins against Valeo, a 2-1 victory at home on May 12, and last weekend at Kingston Stockade when Riley Williams scored an 88th minute winner from a 25-yard free kick to secure a 2-1 win.

Keep an eye out for the team’s leading scorer Owen Cheney as the Colgate product has bagged three goals this season, twice in the victory over Valeo and tallied the first half equalizer last weekend at Kingston. The club also returns 2022 NPSL All-Conference honoree Isaac Borden in the midfield along with several long serving players for the club.

COLTS DROP A MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND TILT AT VALEO

Newton, Mass. – After an unbeaten start to the 2024 National Premier League Soccer (NPSL) Regular Season, Hartford City FC (2-1-1, 7 points) suffered their first loss of the campaign on Saturday night by dropping a 2-1 decision in the final minutes on the road at Valeo FC (1-2-1, 4 points).

Despite the defeat, Hartford City maintained a top-two spot in the North Atlantic Conference standings as they currently sit three points behind division front runners New York Shockers but one point ahead of New Jersey United AC and Syracuse FC.

It was a quick start for the hosts as Harvard University product Ben Kelly hit the back of the net for the second consecutive match. An early service into the in the box forced HCFC keeper Nate DiLoreto to make a reaction save initially with the rebound dropping to Kelly, to tap in the 6th minute goal to give Valeo the early lead. However, Colts Jake Williams delivered a captains’ goal inside the final ten minutes of the first half to equalize. The Colts continued to press for the go ahead before halftime, when Mark Grant collected a pass centrally driving through the middle of the pitch, sending shot from 25 yards out that hit the crossbar, bounced down and out, narrowly missing the chance. Both sides settled going into halftime at 1-1.

Evan Jones, who scored for Hartford City in last weekend’s 3-2 victory over Kingston Stockade, came close to giving the visitors a lead in the 52nd minute when he reached Evan Southern’s cross and powered a shot towards goal, only to see Valeo’s goalie Leonard Seidel palm it wide. Minutes later, Williams nearly snuck a free kick past Seidel when he curled one from outside the box into the corridor of uncertainty, only to see it fizz by the wrong side of the post.

Throughout the majority of the second half, the hosts didn’t provide much of a threat going forward, but in the last few minutes of normal time, DiLoreto made a smothering save on Ben Kelly’s rushed effort after running down a long clearance from the Valeo defense.

But the hosts would win the match in dramatic fashion as Michael Echavarria blasted a half-volley from the penalty spot from a corner kick in the third minute of second half stoppage time, a goal worthy of winning any match.

HCFC had multiple chances in the final moments to find another equalizing tally. First, Southern clipped in a free kick into the box that Valeo was just able to scramble off the goal line after Colin Goodhines had a tight angle shot blocked, and Southern rocketed the rebound wide of goal. Moments later, Alonzo Clarke picked out Southern on the edge of the box and he forced Siedel into a save, with the hosts clearing away the rebound for a corner. Williams swung in the ensuing corner and Griffin Tomas had both his initial header from the set piece and his putback from the rebound was blocked away. The referee blew the whistle right after Valeo cleared the box, halting any further chances the Colts could muster to level the score.

Hartford City return to action on Saturday, June 1st when they face off against Syracuse FC. The Colts will play this home match at Oakwood Soccer Park (521 Glastonbury Turnpike, Portland, CT, 06480), due to Trinity Health Stadium being unavailable that evening, and kickoff is scheduled for 7pm. Fans should keep an eye out on the clubs’ social media channels for more information about next Saturday’s match in the coming days.

COLTS TRAVEL UP TO THE BAY STATE FOR A MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND MATCHUP

Hartford, Conn. – Fresh off a win at home against Kingston Stockade FC a week ago, Hartford City FC (2-0-1, 7 points) head back on the road for the second time this season as the Colts face off against Valeo FC (0-2-1, 1 point) on Saturday, May 25. Kickoff is set for 6pm up at the Valeo Sports Center in Newton, MA.

MATCH INFORMATION

Fans who are looking to travel up to Massachusetts for Saturday’s match can purchase tickets on the day of the game at the Valeo Sports Center (125 Wells Ave, Newton, MA, 02459). For those fans who are planning to follow the match online, a live stream will be provided on the Valeo Futbol Club Youtube page. Stay tuned to Hartford City FC social media channels for more information on matchday.

LAST TIME OUT

Two goals in the first fifteen minutes and three in the first half hour were enough to power Hartford City FC to a 3-2 win over their long-time rivals Kingston Stockade FC last Saturday evening at Trinity Health Stadium

Hartford City jumped out to a lead in the 6th minute when Evan Southern finished off a swift, team goal that included a clinical nine-pass sequence around the edge of the area, and a pair of back heel passes, including from the primary assist getter Parker Vasic.

Kingston thought they had a chance to level the match when Hugo Guerra looked to have been fouled minutes later inside the box but the referee allowed play to continue. And the no-call would be a misery compiler for Kingston as while their bench was up in arms about the decision, Andrew Bilbie, another player making his HCFC debut, drove through the defense and ripped a shot from close distance. Nunez was able to block the shot away, but Vasic powered home the rebound from the edge of the area to double the hosts’ advantage.

Kingston Stockade were able to pull a goal back shortly before the half hour mark as Jonathan Salguero was able to get free down the left side of the field and floated a ball to the back post that snuck past Hartford City’s goalie Jamis Fite into the back of the net. But if the visitors expected that tally to give them any momentum, it was taken away almost immediately. Forty seconds after the re-start, Hartford City made it 3-1 as Tomas curled in a cross from the right flank to the six-yard box and Jones hammered a header past Nunez for his first goal of the season.

Hugo Guerra would make it 3-2 as he dispatched a penalty kick in the 51st minute but there were no further tallies after that, as the Colts would win their second consecutive home match of the season.

ABOUT OUR OPPONENT

After earning a point in the season opener against Kingston Stockade on May 4th, Valeo FC have suffered back-to-back defeats since then. In that opening match, it was Brandeis University product Josh Andrews who put Valeo ahead before Kingston rescued a point twenty minutes from time with a Paul Makaj penalty kick. The following week, Valeo went up to Central New York to take on Syracuse FC and fell 2-1, despite getting a second half equalizer from Erik Estrada. Valeo were at home last week but gave up two early goals to New York Shockers’ talisman Filippo Bellu and couldn’t recover. Valeo did pull a goal back from Harvard product Ben Kelly by tapping home a rebound, but the equalizer just wouldn’t come for the hosts.

Valeo missed out on the postseason last year with a 3-6-1 record and had just the one All-Conference honoree in midfielder Cleon Pryce. But there is plenty of local talent on the roster and are hoping to find the same form that saw the club finish 2nd in the 2022 season and host a postseason match.