Preview: Welcome to Dillon
Hartford Athletic is set to play its first ever match in its new home this weekend, as Fortress Hartford moves to Dillon Stadium on Saturday night. Upset-minded Athletic will look to shock a red-hot Indy Eleven side in front of a friendly audience. Here's what you need to know:
HARTFORD ATHLETIC vs. INDY ELEVEN:
Date: Saturday, July 13
Time: 5:00 PM ET
Location: Dillon Stadium, Hartford, CT
Local TV: WCTX MyTV9
WHERE TO WATCH:
Thomas Hooker Brewery at Colt, 140 Huyshope Ave., Hartford, CT
City Steam Brewery and Cafe, 942 Main St., Hartford
TK's American Cafe, 255 White St., Danbury
2nd Bridge Brewing Co., 642 Hilliard St., Manchester
Lakeview Restaurant & Bar, 50 Lake St., Coventry
V's Trattoria, 280 Trumbull St., Hartford, CT 06103
LAST TIME OUT:
Hartford Athletic fell to Memphis 901 FC last Saturday night, suffering a 4-1 defeat at AutoZone Park. The boys in green came out aggressively and almost took the lead in the 3rd minute, when Wojciech Wojcik blasted a rebound effort off the underside of the crossbar. However, Memphis forward Elliot Collier broke the deadlock for his side just three minutes later, cutting inside from the left flank and guiding his low shot underneath a diving Frederik Due. Collier would then score a very similar goal to double Memphis' advantage in the 12th, squeezing the ball between Due's legs. Hartford did respond well to its early deficit, and Mads Jørgensen punctuated a spell of dominance with a brilliant, pile-driving finish from the top of the Memphis penalty area. The visitors also created numerous glaring chances in the second half, but Memphis was more clinical, as Collier capped off his hat trick in the 75th and substitute Lagos Kunga polished it off five minutes later.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Hartford Athletic - Kyle Curinga, DF
Curinga has become a mainstay in Jimmy Nielsen's Starting XI, piecing together a string of solid performances. The Clearwater, Florida native has operated primarily in the right-back role, tallying 30 clearances, 30 interceptions, 19 successful tackles (73.1% success rate), and 1 assist. However, recent personnel changes have compelled Jimmy Nielsen to move Curinga into the heart of defense, establishing a center-back partnership between the 25-year old and Sem De Wit. If Curinga and De Wit can stay on the same wave length, Hartford may be difficult to break down this weekend.
Indy Eleven - Tyler Pasher, MF
Pasher is Indy's most prolific attacker, and he has burst onto the scene in the last month. The 25-year old has bagged 7 goals this season, converting exactly half the shots he has put on target (14). Pasher is coming off an incredible month of June, grabbing 5 goals in 6 matches and 2 game-winners. However, the Canadian is far more than just a goalscorer, completing 81.5% of his passes while also recording 21 key passes and 1 assist this season. Hartford must hound Indy's multi-dimensional superstar relentlessly if it hopes to cool his red-hot form.
ABOUT THE OPPONENT:
Indy Eleven currently sits on 34 points this season, good for 2nd place in the Eastern Conference standings. Coach Martin Rennie's side is on fire, riding a 10-match unbeaten run and winning 5 of its last 6 matches. His squad also boasts the joint-best defense in the league, only conceding 9 goals in 16 games. The "Circle City" boys defeated Hartford a little over three months ago, earning a closely-contested, 1-0 victory at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Updates on the match will be provided via Twitter at @hfdathletic or by following #HFDvIND.
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