Hartford Athletic Set for 1st-Ever Meeting with Monterey Bay FC in 2023 USL Championship Season Opener
The USL Championship season is finally here, with Tab Ramos and his new-look Hartford squad have their eyes set on a new beginning in 2023.
It’s been 146 days since Hartford Athletic’s last competitive fixture, and 160 days since their last USL Championship win. Now, after a long offseason, matchday is finally upon us.
The Green and Blue are set to kick off their first full season under newly-appointed head coach Tab Ramos tonight, traveling to Cardinale Stadium in Seaside, California for a first-ever matchup with Monterey Bay FC. Kickoff is scheduled for 10 p.m.
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Both teams will be looking to reboot after equally underwhelming 2022 campaigns. For Hartford, the late season departure of head coach Harry Watling spelled a new beginning - but it was too little too late to make a true playoff push.
The hire of head coach Tab Ramos breathed new life into the team late in the season, as they won three of their last six games, scoring 14 of their 47 goals on the season in that stretch. Despite this, they finished 10th in the Eastern Conference with just 10 wins on the season.
Hartford will look to build off of the momentum built towards the end of 2022 last year, re-invigorated with 14 new signings, including newly-named captain Niall Logue.
Monterey suffered a similar fate in 2022, finishing 12th in the western conference after going winless in their last six games. Their last win came on September 17th in a 5-0 thumping of Indy Eleven, but since then they’ve been outscored 18-5, leading them to a 12th-place finish with only 12 wins on the year.
Eight of those 12 wins came in a 12-game stretch from July to mid-September, where Crisp and Kelp went 8-3-4, including nine shutouts, concluding with the 5-0 Indy win. Despite the run, an early-season slump proved too much to overcome, and Monterey fell well below the playoff line.
With both teams looking to establish a new beginning in 2023, they will have their sights set on an early win.