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Joe Rice, Connor McGlynn Named to USL Championship TOTW
The pair played an integral role in Hartford Athletic's 2-1 win over New Mexico United on Saturday.
Following Hartford Athletic’s come-from-behind 2-1 win over New Mexico United on Saturday, goalkeeper Joe Rice and defender Connor McGlynn have been named to the USL Championship Team of the Week.
The inclusions mark the seventh and eighth time a Hartford Athletic player has been named to the week’s best XI this season, bringing Hartford’s total to three in the last three weeks. It also marks the second time in those three weeks that Rice has earned Team of the Week honors, after making seven saves in a 2-0 win in Las Vegas on July 22 to earn his first bid of the season.
This time around, the former New England Revolution II shot-stopper made six saves on the night, four of which kept Hartford in the game in the first half. Already down 1-0, one of Rice’s biggest tests of the night came just four minutes before the halftime whistle, when he pushed Amanda Moreno’s effort from the top of the box out into the danger zone before swiping away Santi Moar’s close-range rebound to keep the game at 1-0.
The saves proved vitally important for Hartford, who would go on to score two goals in the second half and take all three points at home for only the second time on the season. Rice made two more saves in the second 45 to keep New Mexico off the board, while his fellow TOTW defender, McGlynn, assisted the game-winning goal in the 71st minute to give Hartford the win — his first assist of the season.
After Beverly Makangila’s first goal in Green and Blue — a scorcher from almost 30 yards out — leveled the game at one, McGlynn would help capitalize on Hartford’s newfound momentum just three minutes later. Taking the ball all the way out from his own box into the middle third, he played a pass over the top to the feet of Antoine Hoppenot, who calmly slotted the ball under the onrushing keeper and into the back of the net for what eventually was the game-winning goal.
On top of the game-winning assist, McGlynn also played a crucial role in the Hartford back line throughout the night, winning three tackles and making six clearances. For Rice, it was the third straight game making six or more saves between the sticks, as he seems to have cemented his spot in Omid Namazi’s starting XI.
A first goal in Green and Blue that featured in SportsCenter’s top 10 and is a candidate for USL Championship Goal of the Week, two TOTW selections, and six points in their last three games — it finally seems like things might be going Hartford’s way for the first time this year.