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COVID Outbreak Leaves Hartford Shorthanded Ahead of Tampa Match
Hartford Athletic will travel to Tampa without 10 players on Saturday -- including both goalkeepers.
On Friday afternoon, it was first reported by the Nutmeg State Podcast that a shorthanded Hartford squad would head to Tampa following a COVID-19 outbreak among the team.
Under an hour after the initial report, The Blazing Musket received confirmation that 10 players in Hartford Athletic’s squad will be sidelined for Saturday’s match against the Tampa Bay Rowdies — which is currently set to be played as scheduled. Among a number of absences that leave only 12 healthy players, the team will travel without both of their goalkeepers, leaving Hartford with just over 24 hours to find an emergency replacement.
Right now, word from the club is that they are doing whatever they can to field a team for Saturday, with no word of a cancellation or postponement from the league.
Of the ten players who are out, seven have been regular starters for Omid Namazi, including the entire defensive line. Beverly Makangila, Joe Rice (GK), Richard Sánchez (GK), Connor McGlynn, Kaveh Rad, Kembo Kibato, Matt Sheldon, Prince Saydee, Modesto Méndez and Juan Pablo Torres are all unavailable for Saturday’s match.
“Despite multiple requests to the league and Tampa Bay Rowdies organizations recommending to reschedule, the League is requiring the match to be played as scheduled tomorrow night,” a statement from the team read. “We are beyond disappointed with this decision which is in no way aligned with the spirit of competition and fails to put the best interests of the players, staff and fans first.”