Hartford Athletic Begin U.S. Open Cup Campaign vs. Lansdowne Yonkers FC
The Green and Blue return home looking to replicate their 2022 success and earn their first win of the season.
A busy week for Hartford Athletic will continue on Tuesday night, with the Green and Blue set to host Eastern Premier Soccer League (EPSL) amateur side Lansdowne Yonkers FC in Round Two of the U.S. Open Cup.
The game comes just three days after Hartford’s last league outing, a hard-fought 1-1 draw vs. Orange County SC at Trinity Health Stadium. Hartford fell behind early thanks to a sixth-minute free kick but fought their way back to equalize late in first-half stoppage time through Elvish Amoh's second goal of the year, finding the back of the net at home for the first time this season.
In a second half that featured everything but a goal - 10 yellow cards, a combined 27 shots and nine minutes of stoppage time - neither side were able to break the deadlock as the two teams were forced to split the points.
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Still, in search of their first win of the season with an 0-2-2 record, Hartford have enjoyed considerable success through their brief history in the U.S. Open Cup. They fought to their first-ever win in the competition during their inaugural season in 2019, a 2-1 victory against New York Cosmos B at the University of Hartford. They went on to lose to fellow USL Championship side Memphis 901 FC in the next round that year.
Hartford played their next games in the competition during last season’s tournament. Their 2022 run saw them take a 3-1 win vs. Oyster Bay FC in Round Two before facing Major League Soccer side New York Red Bulls at home.
What followed was a fiercely competitive matchup that saw the Green and Blue come up just short against MLS competition, losing 2-1 in front of a sellout home crowd. Hartford went down 2-0 in the first half before a low strike from distance found the bottom corner off of the foot of Connor McGlynn brought the game within one. Hartford would rally for the final minutes, coming as close as the woodwork, but could never find the equalizer as their 2022 campaign came to an end.
“I think we’re ready,” Ramos said after Saturday’s 1-1 draw vs. Orange County. “[It is] certainly not easy, I think we need to approach the game with the seriousness that it requires and we have to win the game. One, because we’d like to advance and get an opportunity to play an MLS team, and two, because we need the confidence. We need to get going.”
Hartford will begin their third Open Cup campaign on Tuesday incredibly shorthanded, as injuries continue to plague the squad early in the season. Andre Lewis (head), Kembo Kibato (foot), and Matt Sheldon (ankle) will all be unavailable for Tuesday's clash due to injury. Additionally, Tristian Hodge will be unavailable due to a red card suspension dating back to last season’s tournament, and Joel Quist will not be allowed to appear after having already made an appearance for another club earlier in the competition, according to Ramos.
As for Lansdowne Yonkers, they have yet to lose this season, getting off to an electric 5-0 start that culminated in a 2-1 US Open Cup First Round win vs. Hartford City FC at Trinity Health Stadium on March 23rd. They’ve outscored their opponents 18-2 through their first five games across all competitions and will look to keep that streak alive as they return to Trinity Health Stadium for a second-straight game against their first professional opponent this season.
Founded in 1997 by blue-collar workers as a community-based club, Lansdowne have won five League titles, two National Amateur Championships, and two National Fricker Championships in their 26-year history, according to their team website.
The first midweek kickoff at Trinity Health Stadium between Hartford and Lansdowne is set for 7 p.m. The game will be streamed on Youtube.