HCFC news & events
Mansfield, Conn. – For the second time in three seasons, Hartford City FC has advanced to the NPSL North Atlantic Conference Playoff Final after defeating the New York Shockers, 2-1, in the Semifinals on Wednesday night at Eastern Connecticut State University.
The second-seeded Colts will now hit the road on Saturday to face the top-seed in the North Atlantic Conference Playoffs, Kingston Stockade FC, with not only the Conference Playoff title on the line, but also a spot in the East Region Playoffs.
After being outscored 9-1 across the three regular-season meetings between the sides, it was the third-seeded Shockers who created the first scoring chance of the night. From a short corner kick routine in the second minute, Seth Scarano flicked a ball into the path of teammate Benjamin Kogan but was denied from close range by Hartford City goalie Jamis Fite.
The Shockers took the lead in the 11th minute as Pedro Espindola dispossessed Hartford City’s Griffin Tomas at midfield, then drove down the right flank before crossing a ball into the box that was missed by Fite and directed off Filippo Bellù into the back of the net.
New York, who was the defending North Atlantic Tournament Champions and knocked off Hartford City in last year’s semifinals, proceeded to sit in defensively and absorb pressure from the Colts, only going forward on a rare counterattack.
This allowed Hartford City to expand their point of attack, often utilizing Evan Southern on the left wing to stretch the Shockers’ defense, with Tomas sitting in behind him, to either drive at defenders or whip in crosses. Despite earning several corners and set pieces in the first half, the Colts only had a few shots on target in the first half. Two of them came from midfielder Patrick Osiecki, both of which were saved by Shockers’ goalie Ryan Henning.
The hosts earned a lifeline ten minutes before halftime when the referee called a handball on New York’s Connor DeFilippis, after Southern was played in behind by Tomas and his cross struck the arm of the Shockers defender. Matt McGonigle stepped up to the spot and coolly dispatched the penalty kick past Henning to level the score.
That 1-1 score line would hold up through halftime but it didn’t take the Colts long into the second half to make more impact on the scoresheet.
From a throw-in in the 52nd minute, Henry Hamilton laid a ball off into the path of Osiecki, who proceeded to make a 25-yard run past five Shockers’ defenders before firing a shot past Henning to give Hartford City a 2-1 lead. It was the first goal of the season for the Naugatuck, Conn. native and would eventually prove to be the winning tally.
Almost immediately from the restart, the Shockers created their most threatening chance to equalize as Byron Stewart-Drysdale launched a ball over to the top to Anthony Rouse, who took it down and raced past the last Hartford City defender. But Fite came up with a crucial one-on-one stop well off his line to protect the hosts’ lead.
Understanding at the time that a one-goal advantage may not be enough on the night, Hartford City pressed for an insurance goal. They nearly got it in the 61st minute when Diego Zaffanella picked out Southern with a cross to the back post and Southern got a clean shot off from 12 yards out, only to see Henning parry the effort wide.
Over the remaining half hour, the Shockers kept piling on the pressure in their quest to keep their season alive but never forced a save out of Fite. The visitors’ final chance of the night came in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time when Adel Cekic floated in a free kick towards substitute Daniel Josepher, who got a great leap but couldn’t keep the headed effort on target, and the final whistle blew moments after.
— Writer Credit: JJ Duke
— Photo Credit: Phil Zolla
July 15 at 3:14 pm
Worcester, Mass. – In a tightly contested affair on Wednesday night, Hartford City FC (3-2-0, 9 points) came out on the wrong end of a 1-0 decision against Valeo FC (1-3-1, 4 points) at General Foley Stadium.
While the Colts maintained their second-place spot in the 2023 NPSL North Atlantic Conference standings despite the loss, Wednesday’s defeat was the second straight match that the club had dropped points after falling to Kingston Stockade FC 3-0 last Saturday.
It was a cagey first quarter of an hour, with the best chance from the two teams during this stretch came from Valeo’s Gabriel Padilla, as his strike from outside the box whistled by the near post in the 16th minute. Hartford City thought they had opened the scoring in the 19th minute when Griffin Tomas’ free kick from the right flank was headed home by Nick Hupe before he collided into Valeo’s goalie Marvyn Dorchin, but the referee whistled for a foul on the HCFC defender and negated the goal.
Those were the only two clear-cut scoring chances for either team during the first half but coming out of the halftime break, the hosts only needed a few minutes to break the deadlock. Valeo defender Abdul Barrie drilled a long ball from inside his own defensive third towards Padilla, who was able to beat a HCFC defender to the spot and then rounded Colts’ goalie Jamis Fite and slotted it away for the 1-0 lead.
Hartford City nearly leveled proceedings in the 59th minute when Fite found Evan Southern down the left, who then played Christian Dionne in with a lovely through ball but his quick snap-shot was saved by the feet of Dorchin. The Colts’ journey to try and even the score took a turn for the worst three minutes after when Jake Williams saw his second yellow card after a late tackle, reducing HCFC to ten men.
Southern, after assisting on a pair of goals in the first meeting between the squads back on May 24th, hit a well-struck free kick from 25 yards out in the 67th minute, only to see Dorchin slide over to his near post to make the save. Moments later, Valeo nearly doubled their lead from a long-distance strike that just sailed over the crossbar.
HCFC were reduced to nine men in the 68th minute when Hupe was sent off for a straight red card when Valeo had a two on one break and the Colts defender fouled a man right outside the penalty box. Despite playing the last 20-plus minutes of the match down two players, Hartford City kept pressing for the equalizer and nearly got it in the 80th minute when Southern drove around the back line and was in on goal, only once again to be denied by Dorchin from point blank range. But that was the closest Hartford City would come to scoring for the remainder of the match.
The two teams will meet for the third and final time this season on Sunday, June 11th at Trinity Health Stadium in Hartford. Kickoff for that match is at 2pm, with tickets now available by searching Hartford City FC on Soccerstub.com. Sunday’s match will also be streamed on ElevenSports.com.
June 9 at 6:42 pm
Hartford, Conn. – After dropping points for the first time in the 2023 NPSL season last weekend, Hartford City FC (3-1-0, 9 points) will play their double-match week this week, a true home-and-home week, against Valeo FC (0-3-1, 1 point). The Colts will travel to Valeo on Wednesday June 7th at 7pm before hosting their Bay State rivals on Sunday, June 11th at 2pm.
Wednesday’s match at Valeo FC will be played at General Foley Stadium (305 Chandler Street, Worcester, MA, 01602). Please keep an eye to the Hartford City social media accounts for more information about the match.
Tickets for Sunday’s match at Trinity Health Stadium are available now by searching Hartford City FC on Soccerstub.com. General Admission tickets are $10 and Children aged 12 and under can get in for free.
If you can’t make Sunday’s home match, a free live stream will be provided at ElevenSports.com by searching Hartford City FC, or you can find the link on our social media platforms.
LAST TIME OUT
For the first time this season and in over two calendar years, Hartford City FC lost an NPSL Regular Season match as they fell to Kingston Stockade 3-0 this past Saturday evening up in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. It was the first time that the Colts hadn’t earned a result in a regular season match since May 22, 2021, a 1-0 loss to the New York Shockers. Saturday’s loss not only ended that 20-match unbeaten run but it also saw the Colts drop to second place in the North Atlantic Conference standings.
Kingston came out swinging early as they scored twice inside the first 25 minutes. Both goals came from Daniel D’Ippolito, with his first goal coming in the 11th minute after being played in on a Jacob Shulman through ball and slotted it past HCFC goalie Jamis Fite. The second goal came in the 25th minute from Hugo Guerra’s assist, and after the first half ended 2-0 to Stockade FC, the Fordham midfielder would go on to secure his hat-trick, his second of the season, in the 56th minute.
ABOUT OUR OPPONENTS: VALEO FC
Valeo FC started their 2023 NPSL campaign with a three-match homestand and dropped all three of those games. One of those losses came at the hands of Hartford City, as the Colts got a pair second-half goals en route to a 2-0 victory. The goals came from each Matt McGonigle and Jake Williams and both were assisted by Evan Southern.
Valeo did pick up their first point of the season on Sunday with a 2-2 draw at Syracuse FC in a back-and-forth affair. After Syracuse scored the opening goal in the 36th minute, Marcus Viera leveled the score in the 65th minute from the penalty spot. Syracuse converted a penalty kick of their own in the 86th minute, which they thought would be enough to earn them the win, but Valeo’s Taj Jensen scored in the 90th minute to give the Massachusetts club a 2-2 draw. Valeo will be looking to sharpen up their defense as they’ve conceded a Conference-high 11 goals from four matches, and are one of just six teams in the entire East Region to have already allowed double-digit goals in the first half of the regular season.
June 6 at 11:28 pm
Hartford, Conn. – After a week off from the 2023 NPSL season-opening 2-1 win over Syracuse FC on May 14, Hartford City FC (1-0-0, 3 points) will play twice in the coming week. First up, the Colts will travel to Worcester, Mass. on Wednesday, May 24th to take on Valeo FC (0-2-0, 0 points) at 7pm. Then, HCFC will welcome the New York Shockers (1-1-1, 4 points) to the Trinity Health Stadium on Saturday, May 27th, with kickoff of that match also set for 7pm.
Wednesday’s match at Valeo FC will be played at General Foley Stadium (305 Chandler Street, Worcester, MA, 01602). Please keep an eye to the Hartford City social media accounts for more information about the match.
Tickets for Saturday’s match at Trinity Health Stadium are available now by searching Hartford City FC on Soccerstub.com. General Admission tickets are $10 and Children aged 12 and under can get in for free. 2023 Hartford City FC Season tickets are also available now, also being sold by searching Hartford City FC on Soccerstub.com
If you can’t make Saturday’s home match, a free live stream will be provided at ElevenSports.com by searching Hartford City FC, or you can find the link on our social media platforms.
LAST TIME OUT
Hartford City opened the 2023 NPSL season on Mother’s Day with a 2-1 victory over Syracuse FC. After a scoreless first half despite HCFC dominating possession, the Colts broke through early in the second half with a pair of goals inside of three minutes. Cooper Knecht scored the opener in the 50th minute after a corner wasn’t cleared out by Syracuse and Knecht headed home Patrick Osiecki’s cross. Just a few minutes later, the hosts doubled the lead when Matt McGonigle connected onto Griffin Tomas’ cross with a diving header from six yards out. Syracuse got a goal back just after the hour mark when Cody Green got in behind and slotted one past HCFC ‘keeper Jamis Fite, but that would be all the scoring on the afternoon.
The result extended Hartford City’s unbeaten NPSL Regular Season match streak to 16 straight, as the last time the Colts lost a Regular Season contest was back on June 5th, 2021. Also HCFC have won all three matches against Syracuse FC by the same 2-1 score line.
ABOUT OUR OPPONENTS: VALEO FC
It hasn’t been the start to the 2023 NPSL season that Valeo FC would have hoped for as the club have lost both of their matches so far this season. Their first match was at home on May 13th against New York Shockers and after Valeo’s Gabriel Padilla tied the score at 1-1 in the 51st minute, the Shockers went on to score twice to take all three points. Last Saturday, Valeo lost a wild 3-2 match at home against Kingston Stockade where Stockade FC would have leads of 1-0 in the first half and 2-1 in the second half, but Valeo struck quickly each time after going behind. The first being Matthew Bell scoring after a long throw into the box in the 33rd minute and the second Valeo goal coming in the 71st minute on an own-goal. But Kingston’s Daniel D’Ippolito, who scored the previous two goals for his squad, wrapped up his hat trick in the final quarter-hour to keep Valeo out of the win column.
Valeo FC are coming off their second consecutive season of making the postseason, as they finished second in the North Atlantic Conference with a 5-2-3 record but like Hartford City, they hosted a Conference Tournament semifinal match but bowed out of the competition at that stage with a loss to Cedar Stars FC. Returning from the squad last year is Matthew Bell, who registered eight goals last season
ABOUT OUR OPPONENTS: NEW YORK SHOCKERS
After reaching the North Atlantic Conference Tournament Final last season, the New York Shockers season got off to a slow start with 1-0 loss to Kingston Stockade on May 6th, giving up an early goal to Stockade’s Michael Corbi and couldn’t find their way back. The Shockers bounced back after that opening day defeat with a 3-1 victory over Valeo FC on May 13. Filippo Beliu scored twice inside the first 15 minutes in the second half, the latter of the two being the game-winner on the hour mark, before Jackson Leon’s goal inside the final five minutes secured all three points. Last weekend in rainy conditions, the team played to a 0-0 draw with Syracuse FC despite the ever-present danger men of Adetayo Adefioye, who earned All-Conference Best XI honors last year, and Pedro Espindola each having a handful of chances to break the deadlock throughout the match, but both teams shared the points.
May 25 at 2:15 pm
July 14 at 12:50 pm
July 10 at 11:00 am
The Hartford City Football Club have teamed up with Henkel USA to announce their sponsorship. The club announced an agreement with the iconic consumer goods company, whose North American Headquarters presence is located in the both the Rocky Hill and Stamford Connecticut area.
The Henkel Word Mark will be featured prominently on the front of the club’s jerseys and the brand Loctite will be featured on the sleeve beginning with the upcoming 2022 regular season, which kicked off at Trinity Health Stadium on March 22, 2022, against Oyster Bay United. (more…)
May 10 at 4:29 pm
Kingston, N.Y. – Second half goals from Alec Hughes and Tim Ennin were enough to lift Hartford City FC to an Opening Day 2-1 road victory over their North Atlantic Conference rivals Kingston Stockade FC on Saturday night.
In front of a raucous home crowd at Dietz Stadium, Kingston were able to give them something to cheer about early on as Scott Zobre pounced on a loose clearance in the Hartford defensive third and slotted home a right-footed finish, giving them a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute.
The turning point in the match came in the 31st minute as after another Hartford turnover in their own half, Kingston’s Vinny Colantuono was sent through on goal, only to be denied by a brilliant 1-on-1 save by HCFC’s keeper Jamis Fite. (more…)
May 10 at 12:44 pm
Hartford, CT – After a historic 2021 season where Hartford City FC won the NPSL North Atlantic Conference Championship, the Colts will begin their 2022 league campaign on Saturday, May 7 as they hit the road to face an all-too familiar foe, Kingston Stockade FC. Kickoff at Dietz Stadium in Kingston, NY is set for 6pm.
A LOOK BACK AT AN UNFORGETTABLE 2021
Hartford City took a major step forward in club history last season by winning both the North Atlantic Conference Regular Season title with a 6-2-2 record, and the Conference Playoff tournament after successive home victories against Valeo FC in the Semifinals and Kingston in the Final. (more…)
May 9 at 6:45 pm
March 18th, 2021. Hartford City Football Club has extended an offer of professional affiliation with Sporting Hartford Football Club. We believe that both organizations share similar visions and core values as it relates to the sport of soccer in the Greater Hartford community. Each club has much to gain in both sporting and business with the alignment of our two clubs.
The affiliation is effective immediately and will focus on:
• Identification and sharing of local talent
• Match and training opportunities for both clubs
• Promotion of brands
Together we believe the partnership strengthens our clubs, the soccer community within Hartford, and a greater experience to all on and off the field.
May 5 at 4:53 pm
Hartford, CT – Today the club announces the hiring of new head coach Nick Balistierri for the upcoming 2019 National Premier Soccer League season.
From 2016-2018 Balistierri has served as the First Assistant to Hartford City, helping the club achieve consecutive conference playoff appearances. Over those two seasons, Balistierri has been instrumental in building the club profile and shaping the sporting direction.
Prior to the club, Balistierri was on staff at the Oakwood Soccer Club, coaching on the boys US Soccer Development Academy. A native of Glastonbury, he’s very attune to the local soccer environment. His soccer roots run deep in the state having played and coached at every level Connecticut Junior Soccer Association has had to offer. After finishing youth soccer, Balistierri played at Bryant University, then returned home to begin his coaching career.
“Through an extensive coaching search, Nick demonstrated himself as the right fit for our club and its potential in the upcoming season,” said Aaron Sarwar, owner of Hartford City FC. “Most importantly, we’re excited to have continuity building our roster as we start this next chapter for HCFC.”
“I am humbled to lead Hartford City FC into 2019,” Balistierri said. “I would like to thank Aaron Sarwar for giving me this opportunity to continue growing the club’s vision and building a legacy for the club, city and the community.
I have been fortunate to have been part of the staff these past two seasons in front the most passionate supporter groups, Agents of Hale, and I am absolutely thrilled to further represent what local soccer talent has to offer our community every week. This club is building something special that can’t be created overnight, it has to be earned.”
Balistierri takes the reigns of the club after the departure of Christian Benjamin, who served as HCFC’s head coach from 2016-2018.
Hartford City will be hosting a public meet and greet with Nick, his staff and players at Bar5 in downtown Hartford on Saturday April 13th. The event will kickoff at 3:00 PM.
April 23 at 3:14 am
Hartford, CT – The past two season have seen the Hartford City Football Club play at Central Connecticut State University located in New Britain. While the school has serviced the club well since the team first started playing, growth and desire from the fan base made exploring new venues a priority. A decision to move in the off-season was made to re-locate the home stadium to University of Hartford.
The official announcement took place on campus “We’re very excited to be announcing this at the University where we will be playing, it’s a big milestone for our club,” said Director of Football Nick Balistierri. “We’ve been looking to play closer to the capital city in a top-notch stadium and to be here makes it even more special.”
As a Hartford and Connecticut team, there’s an importance for Hartford City to play closer to the community it represents, paying homage to the rich history and traditions of the state, while simultaneously being an agent of change, and ultimately, a symbol of Greater Hartford.
Welcome to Hartford Colts! Now in its sixth decade, the University of Hartford sits proudly on a 350-acre main campus that includes parts of Hartford, West Hartford, and Bloomfield, Conn. It provides a beautifully landscaped vista with grassy expanses and wooded areas with a branch of the Park River winding through it.
Yousuf Al-Marzook Field, dedicated in 1977, is home to the men’s and women’s soccer teams. The complex, located behind the Reich Family Pavilion, includes an all-turf field lined for both soccer and lacrosse. It sports permanent grandstands with a total capacity of 2,500 and fully automated scoreboard.
Single-match tickets will are available now and fans can purchase 2019 season tickets. Hartford City’s clash with conference rival Boston City takes place on Saturday, April 27th as the home opener to the 2019 season. The match will be live-streamed on the team’s Facebook page.
March 29 at 5:04 pm
Check out Protagonists Soccer’s 2019 outlook on the North Atlantic Conference. How good will the Colts be? Read to find out!
March 13 at 2:23 pm
The 2019 NPSL regular season it out! Last week the NPSL released its North Atlantic Conference schedule for 2019, and Hartford City FC will open the regular season Saturday, April 27th home against Boston City FC. The boys in navy and gold will march through the regular season schedule which runs through July 6th, with the conference and regional playoffs starting mid July.
In the NPSL, the Colts will play the Brooklyn Italians, NY Cosmos, Rhode Island Reds FC, New York Athletic Club, Greater Lowell Rough Diamonds, Kingston Stockade FC and Boston City FC. Follow the Colts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates on player signings, preseason matches and more! @hartfordcity_fc and @hartfordcityfc
March 12 at 2:13 am
Chicago, IL – FC Cincinnati got the second day of the 2019 MLS SuperDraft underway by selecting Rashawn Dally with the first pick of the third round (No. 39), a midfielder from Quinnipiac and Hartford City FC.
Dally represents the first MLS draft pick Hartford City has had. He is the second player who’s played for the team who has been drafted. Last year Andre Morrison was selected 69th overall in the 2018 SuperDraft and apperaed for the Colts in the 2018 NPSL Season.
“We wish Rashawn all the success in the future!” said Director of Football Nick Balistierri. “We’ve structured the sporting aspect of our club to give players like Dally a place to develop their talents to realize their dreams. Though he was only with us one season, he’ll always be a Colt to us and our fan base.”
For more information on FC Cincinnati’s draft pick please out this article https://www.fccincinnati.com/post/2019/01/14/one-selected-final-rounds-2019-mls-superdraft
January 28 at 12:07 am
Hartford, CT – Each year sixty players across the country are invited to showcase their abilities at the MLS combine. This year Colts fans have some added interest in following as Rashawn Dally has been called into the combine. For a more in-depth analysis check out the NPSL and MLS articles below!
Follow Hartford City on Facebook or Instagram for all the latest!
Photo Credit: Alex Serbetzian
January 7 at 10:45 pm
Hartford, CT (December 31, 2018) – Hartford City Football Club has announced today that Head Coach Christian Benjamin will be stepping down from the club.
“I’m proud of what we have accomplished these past two seasons,” said owner Aaron Sarwar. “We are fully supportive of Christian and his decision to pursue a new opportunity.” As the inaugural coach, Benjamin led his teams to two consecutive playoff appearances and a combined record of 11-6-5. With a strong foundation in place, the club has to now look forward. A manager will be appointed this winter as a thorough recruitment process is conducted for a new coach.
As the year comes to an end, the club wants to thank Christian and his family for his time at Hartford City. We wish him well and success in his future.
January 4 at 10:03 pm
Hartford, CT. – June provided a particular challenge for Hartford Colts, with four straight away fixtures and back-to-back matches on the 16th and 17th. On Saturday the team traveled to New York Athletic Club and Sunday to Greater Lowell NPSL.
On Saturday, the Colts opened up the match with a first half goal by Luke Alvaro (Somers, CT) with a tidy finish, from a Mark Grant (Coventry, CT) through ball. NYAC proved to be especially dangerous on set pieces, throughout the match, ultimately equalizing in the second half.
Finishing chances came one after the other for Hartford, throughout the game, but the Colts couldn’t produce. It wasn’t until a 50 yard through ball across the field by Paulinton Johnson (Hartford, CT) found a striding Mark Grant who slipped one by the NYAC goal keeper to put the Colts ahead 2-1. Heartbreak ensued as the Colts gave up the equalizer no less than two minutes later in the 88th minute from a rebound which Hami Kara (Wethersfield, CT) produced a full extension save initially on.
The next day, Hartford traveled up to Lowell for the second fixture on the weekend a bit weary from Saturday. Opening goal Deja Vu occurred, as the chemistry between Luke Alvaro and Mark Grant continued producing another goal. Alvaro would find the net again in the 2nd half, followed by game sealing finish by Andrew Geres (Portland, CT).
“Sometimes you just have to push through scheduling challenges,” said Head Coach Christian Benjamin “This weekend we took four out of six possible points on the road and I think any team would be happy with those results.” Indeed the Colts were happy as both NYAC and Greater Lowell respectively sat in 3rd and 4th in the table right behind the Colts. Securing those four points could mean the difference between securing a playoff bid and missing out.
The Colts return to action Saturday the 23rd at home versus the Rhode Island Reds.
June 22 at 4:39 pm
Malden, MA. – Last year’s playoff rematch between your Hartford City Colts and Boston City Lions was featured as the NPSL National Game of the Week. Full NPSL media coverage, can be read here.
Hartford was handed it first loss of the season, while Boston found its first win. Going into the fixture Boston had it’s season on the ropes with only 1 point and Hartford look poised to stay level with the NY Cosmos.
Energy and intensity was high from kickoff, Boston came flying out. Hartford looked overwhelmed in the first few minutes as Boston sent forward seven to eight players in each attacking sequence. After the midfield and forwards adjusted defensively, the Colts became poised. A strike by Sebastian Stezeswki (New Britain, CT) ricocheted off the cross bar in the 10th minute, was just one of the numerous scoring chances that alluded the Colts all evening.
An early set piece at the beginning of the second half, afforded a Boston service in the box, which Hartford was unable to handle. A clearance went astray to Boston’s Jimenez, for him to finish one past goalkeeper Carson D’Ambrosio (Andover, CT). Finding themselves in unfamiliar territory, the Colts were down for the first time all season. They continued to push for the equalizer, creating chances that either were saved, sought out by the Lion’s defense or just went wide.
The second Boston goal of the half, came at the hands of Addai in the 80th minute, which cemented the victory for the Lions. Hartford for the first time all season couldn’t find the back of the net. Not even second half substitution and last year’s playoff hero, Paulinton Johnson (Hartford, CT) could bring the Colts back level.
Hartford City returns to NPSL action next weekend with two road fixtures against New York Athletic Club on Saturday and Greater Lowell on Sunday. As always, you can follow the game via twitter or logon onto our Facebook page for the livestream of the match.
June 22 at 4:19 pm
Portland, ME. – Each week provides a new challenge within the NPSL, this week your Colts traveled to their farthest away fixture of 2018. Maine’s perennial soccer powerhouse, Seacoast United Mariners was the match up, a side that can never be overlooked.
Hartford’s lineup featured some fresh faces in the starting group, Lamar Chancey (Meriden, CT), Rashawn Dally (Bloomfield, CT) and Quentin Lux (Plainville, CT) made their first career starts for the boys in Navy and Gold.
From the beginning of the match, Hartford City looked to be in control, holding majority of possession while creating multiple chances. Seacoast deployed a very compact defensive structure, with a line of pressure starting at midfield and looking to counter Hartford whenever they could. Breaking down the Mariners didn’t come easy throughout the half, as space in the final third was typically filled with ten players. Patience eventually paid off as Ryan Taylor (South Windsor, CT), was able to gain some separation from his defender and finish an opportunity from the left side.
In the second half, the Mariners maintained their defensive structure, attempting to prevent a second goal. Patience paid off yet again for Hartford as second half substitute, Riley Strassner (Avon, CT) was able to pull off a beautiful shot that found its way into the side netting, giving Hartford a 2-0 lead inside the final fifteen minutes of play. Hartford would maintain their two goal lead to seal the match.
The result takes Hartford City FC to 4-0-0 on the season and sees them maintain their second place position in the table. The Colts remain just 3 points behind the league leading New York Cosmos, with a game in hand. Next week the Colts will again be on the road, facing Boston City FC in a rematch of last year’s instant classic, first round playoff game. Fans interested in traveling can make the trip to Brother Gilbert Stadium in Malden, MA or watch the live stream broadcast.
June 6 at 3:17 am
Hartford, CT. – Looking back at the month of May, any club would be happy with the results the Colts have produced. Two home and one away match has yielded the full 9 points against three very strong sides. The identity of the team is beginning to form and a style of play is emerging. We can expect to see a few things from this squad.
1. The bench is deep.
2. A high tempo offense.
3. Breakdowns in the back will not come easily.
Coach Benjamin has utilized almost every substitution available in each match. The production of 8 goals has come from 5 players. Clearly this team is deep in multiple positions, creating a challenge that most coaching staffs do not have the luxury of. It will be interesting to see how the squad changes from match to match based on player production.
If you’ve been watching the Colts play this year, its evident that the attacking possessions can be developed in multiple ways. From wing backs to the front line, the Colts bring numbers forward. The front three are athletic and dangerous running at opposition. While the goal production hasn’t directly come from the front three, they’re creating the chances for the rest of team to finish and are poised to break out.
Conversely the defense is again a source of strength for Hartford. Two of the three goals given up have come from penalties, something you don’t like to see. The positive news is that the back line is not getting broken down in the run of play. Finding spaces in between the center backs or the flanks is a challenge for opponents. Hartford is physical and imposing, expect the trend to continue.
Momentum is building heading into June, however the Colts will be tested with a three game NPSL road trip, facing Seacoast United, Boston City and New York Athletic Club. Anything could happen in this league, so if Hartford can produce the same level of play from May, the club should be in a comfortable position within the table.
To follow the Colts on the road, please check our Twitter, Facebook and website schedule page for live updates and streaming from the matches. “Let’s Go You Colts!”
May 29 at 7:35 pm
New Britain, CT. – Last year’s rematch of the Atlantic White Conference Championship between your Hartford City Colts and the Kingston Stockade did not disappoint this weekend.
Mark Grant opened the game up with a run through the final third, combining with Luke Alvaro and slotting home a shot in the 7th minute. Both teams continued the half attempting to break each other down with no avail. Midway through the half Kingston saw their best opportunity, a corner which dropped inside the six yard box, headed towards goal only to be saved by Hami Kara. The ensuing rebound shots were cleared away by the Hartford City defense.
Eventually, Kingston was able to capitalize in the first half when a shot was deflected to forward Mateusz Koziol within the box, who was able to finish the chance. With a halftime score of 1-1, nobody could anticipate the flurry of drama which would ensue in the next half.
In the 64th minute Connor Archambault was taken down in the box and Hartford was awarded a penalty. Andre Morrison stepped to the spot and converted the chance to increase Hartford’s lead 2-1. As the half continued, Hartford began to open up the game. Super substitute Sebastian Stezewski, building upon his last weeks performance, tallied another goal in the 74th minute after making a beautiful run that started from the center of midfield. With a 3-1 scoreline in favor of the Colts, a series of challenges and altercations saw multiple players on both teams receive yellow cards. In the 89th minute, a challenge by Hartford City resulted in a penalty for the Stockade, which was converted by Juan Parada. It was little too late, as the Colts saw out the remaining stoppage time to collect the win and improve to 3-0-0.
The Colts take to the road for the next two NPSL matches before returning to Connecticut for June 10th, when they take on the Providence City FC Rogues.
Photo Credit: Instagram @sirserb
May 27 at 5:33 pm
Hartford, CT. – The capital city of Rhode Island is sending their finest, Providence City FC, to Hartford on Sunday June 10th. Known as the “Rogues”, Providence City FC currently plays in the Bay State League and Football Alliance 1. They have quickly established themselves as a competitive side for any opponent and present a unique challenge to the Colts.
“We’ve heard buzz around New England soccer about this group” commented Hartford’s Director of Football Nick Balistierri. “Our fans want to see more of our team during the season, especially against quality sides.” Balistierri recognizes that “Both clubs connect philosophically, with focusing their efforts through community building and bringing the football culture to the capital cities of their respective states.”
This match will be the first time the Rogues and Colts meet. For the Colts, its the only Sunday Home Fixture and only match at Clem Lemire Field. “We hope this partnership extends into the future and off the pitch, we support Providence City FC.”
For more details on the Rogues, check out their website. Match kickoff is 6PM, be there early to share in some pregame activities with our favorite friends the Agents of Hale.
May 24 at 7:49 pm
Brooklyn, NY. – The Hartford Colts took to the road this past weekend to play against a formidable Brooklyn Italians side. Both clubs secured playoff berths in the prior season with ambitions this year to replicate the same success.
For the first fifteen minutes of the match, the Colts looked a bit heavy-legged, but eventually settled in. The squad featuring a group similar to the prior week, with a lone change of James Thompkins (CCSU) in the back four. As the half progressed, the Colts began getting the better run of play as both teams created counter after counter attack chances. Eventually the deadlock was broken by a Xahne Reid (U. Hartford) header off a service.
During the second half, Hartford City was able to impose themselves even more on the home side. With substitutions of Rashawn Dally (Quinnipiac), Riley Strassner (Georgetown) and Sebastian Stezewski (SNHU), the three were able to raise the level of play. Two goals finished by Stezewski (Pictured Above) in the last 15 minutes were orchestrated by delightful midfield passing sequences.
After the third goal, it was a foregone conclusion that Hartford City would be leaving Brooklyn with three points and momentum towards their next match. The Colts will play next week, Saturday May 26th 7PM at Home against the Kingston Stockade.
Photo Credit: Instagram @sirserb
May 23 at 4:15 pm
Hartford, CT. – Hartford City FC is pleased to announce our Title Sponsor for the 2018 season, Armstrong Rockwell Watches & Fine Jewelry. We share our passion for the world’s greatest sport with a business that has equal passion for the world’s most luxurious and exclusive timepieces and fine jewelry.
The club recently presented Armstrong Rockwell with the 2018 primary kit. Owner Al Armstrong (picture) expressed “Our experience last year with Hartford City FC was amazing for my business and family. We had to be a part of it again.” Armstrong explained that “The level of engagement the club demonstrated towards youth community soccer, local business and community pride are the same values he shares and cares deeply for.” When asked about expectations for the upcoming season, on a personal level, Al is looking forward to “Meeting new friends and cheering alongside fans of HCFC.” He hopes the fans who have grown to learn about the gem of a local professional soccer team, will grow to learn more about his brand and products.
Armstrong Rockwell is located on 150 Trumbull Street, Hartford, CT, servicing its customers globally for over 40 years in downtown Hartford. For more information check out their website and mention the Hartford Colts when you stop in.
Photo Credit: Instagram @sirserb
May 18 at 4:22 am
New Britain, CT. – The 2018 Season Opener for the Hartford Colts saw a match up of the NPSL Connecticut Derby and a visit from the defending National Champions, Elm City Express of New Haven. For both clubs, starting the season successfully was essential, due to the new conference format only allowing for single match fixtures.
Play opened up in the first half, after each team gained a better feel for their opponent and adjusted to the mild weather. Build ups from each side saw opportunities, with nothing materializing from either attack. As the half progressed, play settled, producing what looked like a nil nil halftime score, until Andre Morrison collected a ball inside the Elm City box, then turning inside to pull a bending shot to the far post, netting a goal at the 45th minute for a 1-0 Hartford City lead.
The second half required both teams to make some tactical changes and substitutions to impact play. As time progressed deeper into the half, pressure mounted on the Express to equalize, which created more counter attacking chances for Hartford. Elm City created a handful of chances in the final fifteen minutes of play, from a series of corners and ensuing crosses. A firm defensive stand, compounded by multiple Hami Kara saves, saw off any attack.
In efforts to gain field territory, Elm City played a long ball into the Hartford City half, only to have it diverted back into their end, where it was controlled by Hartford’s Rashawn Dally. As the forward drove towards goal, he was taken down in the box and a penalty was awarded at the 85th minute. Dally converted the spot kick to make it 2-0 with little time to spare.
As with any Derby, there was a bit of extra time drama as Elm City was awarded a penalty of their own, for a challenge at the top of the Hartford City box. The Express would convert the spot kick in the 95th minute making the scoreline 2-1. Time expired on the ensuing kickoff, leaving the Colts with an impressive victory to start the 2018 season campaign.
Photo Credit: Instagram @sirserb
May 16 at 3:37 am
Hartford, CT. The offseason has been a busy one for the Hartford Colts, with many new faces, there are a lot of question marks regarding how the team will line up this season.
Though there were some departures, there were also some big additions. Local product Rashawn Dally (Bloomfield, CT) has committed to the Colts while in between collegiate seasons at Quinnipiac University. The forward was called up to the Jamaican National camp this past March and will provide a further attacking presence to the existing presence of Luke Alvaro and Ryan Taylor.
One of the biggest additions has been University of Hartford defensive standout, Andre Morrison (Clarendon, Jamaica) whom was drafted 69th overall by Toronto FC in this year’s MLS SuperDraft. Morrison should bolster the defensive line next to Kieran Simms. Also adding to the back line, Andrew Geres (Portland, CT) comes in after a stellar career at UCONN where he looks to make an immediate impact at wing back.
Any good defense starts with the man in between the posts, goalkeeper Hami Kara is that player. Pushing him will be newcomer Carson D’Ambrosio (Andover, CT) who comes in from Central Connecticut State. Both should provide the consistent play expected out of the position, which will provide some reassurance to the back line. It’s no secret that Hartford’s biggest strength was its play in the back, Kieran Simms and Connor Archambault’s presence should set the mentality of the unit and build upon last year’s experience.
Joining the group will be newcomers Brendan Dennis (Tolland, CT) of Columbia University and Calvin Aroh (Glastonbury, CT) of Tufts University, both graduates of the US Soccer Academy Development system, (Oakwood SC, New England Revolution) and have had call-ups to US Youth National Teams. Expect both players to be featured once they settle in. James Thompkins, Quentin Swift and Pedro Gomes will push this group as they challenge a talented defensive unit.
Hartford City has a lot of good players going forward. Their midfield, will showcase some fresh faces, such as Lamar Chancey (Meriden, CT), Mark Grant (Coventry, CT) and Fredrico Ferriera (Rio de Janerio). All will be looking to compete for minutes with returning players Luke Albertini, Felipe Mendes and Sebastian Stezewski.
Colts fans will see a different chemistry and will wonder where these local talents were hiding. The depth of the midfield has improved, which should see for a higher connectivity of passing and possession from the back line to the forwards.
Ryan Taylor, Luke Alvaro and Paulinton Johnson will appear again, after accounting for more than half the goals scored in 2017. Joining them will be Xahne Reid (Clarendon, Jamaica) from the University of Hartford, a talented young dynamic attacker. The Jamaican could be a dangerous attacking player on the wing or could even come inside. Additional options up top could feature either Riley Strassner (Avon, CT) of Georgetown University or Rafa Junquiera (Sao Paulo) of Northwest Nazarene, whom return to the Colts having the opportunity to be deployed as target players.
Clearly, the team has multiple options depending upon which system is played. They’ll certainly have speed, the question remains if this group can create more opportunities going forward and more consistency from game to game.
We know that the squad has returned a solid core group of players and with the right additions, Coach Benjamin has a talented roster. We can probably ascertain that the team will take the knowledge from its inaugural season and dictate a higher tempo, possession offense style, complimented by a higher press defensive strategy. This kind of system when implemented correctly, with the talent available will pose a formidable challenge for any opponent.
The expectations are high, however the conference realignment makes reaching the playoffs a bit more tricky as each team only plays each other once. The top four teams from the table will meet at the end of year to contest for the Atlantic Conference Championship. Still the conference is dangerous with the returning National NPSL Champions Elm City, New York Cosmos, Kingston Stockade, Boston City FC and Brooklyn Italians all vying for the playoffs. Each match is crucial towards finishing top of the table.
If the Colts start the season strong, there will be a confident feeling that the club can go far in 2018.
May 11 at 5:45 pm
Hartford, CT. After the inaugural season, Hartford City FC Head Coach Christian Benjamin will again lead the squad in 2018, signing a new contract, the club announced Monday. It will be Benjamin’s second full season at the helm of the Colts organization.
In his first season last year, Benjamin as head coach guided the Colts to their first postseason berth and first postseason win, while reaching the Atlantic White Conference Finals. Along the way, the Colts created the foundation for a winning culture.
“Christian has proven to be the right man to lead us into the future, since becoming the head coach of the Colts back in 2016,” said Owner Aaron Sarwar. “We set expectations high in 2017, and I expect that Christian will continue to guide this team in the right direction. We’ve been working hard since the first day of the off-season to bring in an even stronger championship-caliber team in 2018. We want to build a team that Connecticut and especially our home in the city of Hartford, will continue to be proud to call their hometown professional soccer team.”
The club is now set to announce several additions to the squad in the coming days and weeks as the 2018 roster is constructed and we start our quest for the 2018 NPSL Atlantic Conference Regular Season Championship and NPSL Cup. COME ON YOU COLTS!
May 9 at 6:42 pm
Saturday, May 5th the Colts lined up against the Hartford Ports of the Hartford Portuguese Club of Hartford for a Charity Match. Hosted by the Soccer Club of Newington, all proceeds went directly to the restoration efforts of the Portuguese Club of Hartford which tragically burned down a few months prior.
A skills clinic was held before the match with some future stars of the Newington youth soccer. After the clinic, the teams took the pitch for an eventful match.
By the end of the day the real champions (É campeão!) was the Portuguese Club of Hartford. If you’d like to donate directly in the restoration efforts please go to https://www.gofundme.com/portugueseclubofhartford
May 7 at 2:17 am
Important updates to all our fans we have two schedule updates to announce.
Our Away match versus Brooklyn Italians has moved from Saturday, May 19th to Sunday 5PM, May 20th. We apologize for the date change, but the Home team cannot reserve the field due to university scheduling conflicts.
Our Away match versus Greater Lowell was scheduled originally without the consent of Hartford City FC. We’ve worked hard to avoid a double so close to the July 4th holiday for our fans. It’s been agreed upon to play now Sunday, June 17th.
We don’t anticipate any more changes to our Regular Season NPSL schedule. If there are future changes we’ll be sure to let you know!
May 4 at 8:24 pm
We’d like to thank everybody that came out to our first Soccer Clinic at the XL Center. The HCFC Staff had a blast working alongside all the kids!!
April 11 at 10:10 am