HCFC news & events


Hartford, Conn. – It was windy and rainy when the referee blew his whistle to get Saturday evening’s match off and running, but that wasn’t only precipitation that was noted at Trinity Health Stadium. It was raining goals as well with Hartford City FC (6-2-1, 19 points) scoring four times in the first half to power past Valeo FC (2-6-1, 7 points), 4-0 in their final home match of the regular season.

With the win, Hartford City secured a top-two finish in the NPSL North Atlantic Conference standings and guaranteed themselves the opportunity to host a postseason match. Elsewhere, the New York Shockers stayed three points clear of the Colts at the top of the table by defeating New Jersey United AC 1-0 on Saturday afternoon. Hartford City still have a chance to wrestle first place and a bye to the Conference Finals from the Shockers with a win at Syracuse FC on the final day of the regular season next Saturday, plus HCFC needs the Shockers to lose at home to Kingston Stockade FC. If Hartford City fail to win their match against Syracuse or New York wins or draws against Kingston then the Colts will host third-placed New Jersey United AC in the Conference Tournament semifinal, with the winner facing the Shockers in the Conference Final.

Hartford City got on the board in the tenth minute on a corner kick as Parker Vasic found Eamon Moylan at the top of the six-yard box and the center back rifled his header past Valeo’s keeper Leo Seidel. Six minutes later, Matteo Azambuja was unleashed down the right flank from Vasic’s through ball and Azambuja hit Valeo FC’s defender Mark Hyunh with a handful of stepovers before driving past him to the endline. It looked like the winger cut off his angle too much with his final touch, but he was able to power his shot right over Seidel into the roof of the net to double to Colts’ lead.

Hartford City have not been only excelling offensively during this current winning streak, but they’ve posted three straight shutouts heading into Saturday’s action. This time it was Jamis Fite taking his turn between the sticks on Saturday evening, as Nate DiLoreto posted the three previous clean sheets, and Fite faced a tough test in the 19th minute as Valeo’s Owen Burke cracked a 30-yard strike that was twisting and knuckling through the air. But Fite was able to block away the shot and collected the following cross to steady the tide.

If that was a warning sign for the Colts to get back on the front foot, the hosts certainly obliged as in the 29th minute, Alonzo Clarke threaded a pass forward to allow Evan Jones to run onto it and with the goalie way off of his line, Jones was able to slide it past Seidel to net his team-leading fourth goal of the season.

The hosts’ lead grew once more as Moylan stepped up to intercept a pass at the halfway line in the 36th minute and found Jones out wide. The Holy Cross product drove into the box and was tripped up by Mark Hyunh and the referee awarded a penalty kick, which Jones placed the effort to the goalie’s left. And it was a great sign to see Jones put away the penalty so comfortably as the Colts have failed to score from the spot in each of the last two matches.

With the margin comfortably in the favor of the hosts, it allowed Head Coach Louis Beddouri to make plenty of changes early in the second half. And while Hartford City didn’t add any more goals on the night, the options off the bench kept the levels and standards high and constantly were a threat on attack.

Matt Cence nearly had his moment in the 64th minute when Patrick Osiecki slid a ball past the back line and allowed Cence to go one-on-one with Seidel, but after rounding the goalie he nailed the crossbar. Mark Grant showed his veteran savvy in the 73rd minute when he noticed that Valeo were slow to get back after committing a foul, so he linked up with Nate Becher, another second half sub, in taking a free kick quickly and when Grant got the return pass back, he nearly found the back of the net from 25 yards out. Michael Suski nearly wrapped up a great team move in the 79th minute as he connected on to Griff Tomas’ low cross but his finish was just on the wrong side of the post, and then was denied by Seidel three minutes later on a one-one-one after skipping past two defenders.

Valeo did have their chances in the second half to get themselves on the board, with Ben Kelly heading one off the post in the 48th minute and then was denied by a one-on-one stop by a sliding Jamis Fite in the 88th minute. But once again the Hartford City defense stood tall as they secured the teams’ fourth straight clean sheet, and fifth total this season, and will enter next week’s contest without allowing a goal for the last 381 minutes of game action.

Hartford City FC wrap up the regular season on Saturday, July 6th when they travel out to play Syracuse FC, as that match will kick off at 2pm at Camden (N.Y.) High School’s stadium. Stay tuned to Hartford City FC’s social media channels and website (hartfordcity.com) for updates ahead of HCFC’s return to the postseason.

July 1 at 11:54 am