HCFC news & events


Hartford, Conn. – A pair of goals and an assist from Christian Dionne, along with a 12th minute tally from Nate Becher, was enough to lift Hartford City FC (1-0-0, 3 points) to 3-0 victory over New Jersey United AC (0-1-0, 0 points) in their 2024 NPSL season opener on Saturday night at Trinity Health Stadium.

Acting Head Coach Carl Stenslund named a starting XI that included eight regulars from the 2023 Hartford City roster, as well as handing a club debut to defenders Joshua Calderon and Colin Goodhines along with welcoming back Noah Silverman, who partnered Evan Jones up front. And despite the club having limited build up to the season opener, the Colts played from the front foot against the NPSL expansion side by deploying a high press when out of possession and having an almost metronome-type rhythm to their passing, leading to early chances from Jones and Patrick Osiecki.

The breakthrough came through for the Colts in the 12th minute when New Jersey United’s Jeremy Klinger gave away possession with a switch of play inside his own half that found the feet of Silverman in acres of space. The Quinnipiac University product then hit a peach of an outside the foot cross to unlock Dionne inside the box, and then the winger unselfishly cut a pass back to the penalty spot where Becher was waiting to stroke it into the back of the net.

After conceding the opener, the youthful New Jersey outfit were able to grow into the match and caused a few threats going forward. The biggest chance of the half for the visitors came in the 40th minute as Khaled Daoud and Melvin Guanga played a give-and-go outside the box and eventually the ball fell to Klinger, whose snap-shot from point blank range was parried wide by HCFC goalie Nate DiLoreto and he managed to stop the rebound effort from Daoud before the flag came up to cancel out the latter chance of the sequence.

HCFC held onto their one-goal advantage into halftime but New Jersey United kept pressing for the equalizer and nearly got it in the 55th minute when second half substitute Romario Mesa crashed an effort off the crossbar from the penalty spot after Diego Fernandez found the substitute with a brilliant laid-off pass from Evan Walters’ cross.

DiLoreto was forced into making two pivotal saves in a five-minute spell as he first denied Diego Navas’ one-on-one chance with his feet in the 66th minute, and then was able to smother Navas’ tight angle chance from a counter-attack in the 70th minute.

After all those warning signs from the visitors, Hartford City found their legs again and were able to double their lead in the 72nd minute. The move started when Calderon dispossessed Navas by standing up the New Jersey United attacker 30 yards away from goal and once the ball got to the feet of Captain Jake Williams in space outside the box, he sent in a cross that was too tall for substitute Tomás Duben but found the feet of Dionne. A quick cut to put the ball onto his left foot was enough to create separation for Dionne who then unleashed an effort past New Jersey United’s goalie Robert Andrade into the bottom corner.

Then with New Jersey committing players forward over the final minutes, Hartford City added a third when Williams pounced on a loose ball just inside his own half in the 85th minute and lofted a ball over the top for Dionne to run onto. And that’s exactly what he did, as he powered past all defenders and hammered a shot past Andrade to put the game beyond reach.

Impressively enough, Dionne has now scored four goals in the last two regular season matches for Hartford City as he had a brace in a 4-1 win away at Syracuse FC last July to wrap up the 2023 NPSL Regular Season. And with unofficially registering five saves on the night, DiLoreto earned his second solo clean sheet for Hartford City, as he posted one in the 7-0 victory over the New York Shockers last June.

The Colts will be back in action on Saturday, May 11th as they will travel to Afrim’s Sports Park in Colonie, NY to take on the New York Shockers. Kickoff that evening is scheduled for 7pm and stay in touch with HCFC’s social media channels for updates, ticket information and live stream information for that match.

May 7 at 9:15 pm