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 Hartford Athletic

Preview: Hartford Return Home for Matchup with Miami

April 5, 2024 - United Soccer League Championship (USL)
Hartford Athletic News Release

After suffering their first loss of the season at North Carolina last week, Hartford Athletic have a chance to bounce back at home against The Miami FC and keep their record above .500 as they head into their bye week next week.


Hartford Athletic are coming off a 2-1 loss to North Carolina FC last Friday, their first loss of the 2024 season. They conceded their first goal of the year after Oalex Anderson got through Hartford's back line on a break away and drew a penatly in the box on Anderson Asiedu in the 24th minute. Louis Perez converted the PK to give North Carolina the early lead. 10 minutes later, Oalex Anderson got loose again and blasted his left-footed shot past Paul Walters to make it 2-0. Jay Chapman scored Hartford's only goal in the 72nd minute, looping a free kick into the box that bounced past Jake McGuire and into the net. Athletic took four more shots the rest of the way, including one off the post from Mamadou Dieng, but could not find an equalizer.


Hartford Athletic are 2-5-1 against Miami FC all-time, dating back to the 2021 season. Miami has won the last five matchups, shutting out Hartford in all five of those games.


Deshane Beckford and Enoch Mushagalusa both currently sit at 99 USL Championship appearances, set to reach the century mark with their next step onto the field on match day. The two have put together quality careers in the league, recording a combined 32 goals and 21 assists. Both had played for four different teams and entered the league just one year a part (Beckford in 2019, Mushagalusa in 2020).


Mamadou Dieng, Emmanuel Samadia, and Ian Shaul have all made their USL Championship debuts with Hartford this season. Dieng (19) started against Birmingham and appeared off the bench last week against North Carolina, and Samadia (23) subbed in during both of those matches. The 18 year old Academy signing Ian Shaul (youngest player on the roster) made his debut off the bench last week North Carolina, making the earliest appearance as an Academy signing in Club history at just three games. All three players have impressed so far, and Dieng has nearly scored. He hit the post on a header against North Carolina, and put three shots on target against Birmingham. Hartford Athletic Color Analyst Mark Donaldson said, "I've been impressed by this kid. He hasn't played a professional game in his life but it looks like he's played 100 of them."

Pre-Match Interviews


Hartford Athletic: Marcus Epps, FW #7

Epps has been searching for his first goal in a Hartford Athletic uniform. Coming off the best season of his career last year (nine goals, seven assists), he was brought to Hartford as a top striker in the league. The 29-year-old has been active in the attacking third so far, taking five shots (two on target) and creating four chances.

Miami FC: Allen Gavilanes, MF #99

The 24-year-old midfielder is playing his first season in the USL Championship after spending three seasons in League One. He is just one goal shy of a professional career high in four matches. His three goals and eight shots are both team highs, and Miami's attacking runs through him. Gavilanes has scored all three of their goals in their last two matches.

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United Soccer League Championship Stories from April 5, 2024

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