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Know Thy Turncoat: Revolution vs Hartford Athletic Open Cup Edition
Today the greatest goal song ever of all time will ring out through all of New England. Regional laws demand you enjoy it.
There is nothing greater, and probably more insufferable, than the state of Connecticut celebrating a college basketball championship.
Well the rest of New England is in luck because CT finds itself back in top form thanks to the UConn Men and surely that couldn’t possibly be a good omen for the visiting Hartford Athletic as they come to Gillette Stadium to face the MLS Supporters’ Shield leading New England Revolution in the US Open Cup at 730pm EDT (streaming FREE on the Revs YouTube channel).
Yes it is once again time to remind the rest of New England that the best pizza in the land is from New Haven. Lobster rolls are served warm and with butter, cheeseburgers in Middletown are steamed and that’s okay, and of course, most importantly of all… the Bruins have zero wins against the Whalers this year so their season has no true value since they have not yet beaten the greatest hockey team in the region.
Also without Connecticut you’d all still be speaking the Queen’s English, you’re welcome by the way. Today I wear green and blue in acknowledgment of this region’s defiance against my state and it’s rightful place in New England lore.
You will hear the Brass Bonanza today and wallow in misery at its greatness as the team in green celebrates. No, Gillette Stadium will not play this song - cowards - you will hear it rent-free in your heads for as long as Hartford remains in the Open Cup. This game should have been at Dillion Stadium as well, to at least start making up for the shenanigans of the late 90s with the East Hartford Patriots.
We have not forgotten the ORIGINAL Revs SSS dustup and yes I live in an alternate reality where the Pats and Whalers have both been in Hartford for the last 25 years.
Imagine how much more insufferable I’d be if the UConn Women had also won a title this year too…three times UConn sweeping March Madness before anyone else could do it once, be still my heart.
Anyway, today I am honored to speak with noted soccerhead Damon Gray of the Nutmeg State podcast covering all things CT soccer but especially HFD Athletic. Win or lose, tonight is going to be wicked fun.
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1) How awesome is it to have Tab Ramos as the HFD Athletic head coach and what are the noticeable differences on and off the field so far in his tenure that began late last year?
It’s pretty amazing to have such a big name within U.S. Soccer be the manager of this club. Obviously the start to this season has been a little rough but with him at the helm, and having Connecticut soccer legend Ray Reid in the front office, it shows how much investment has been put into the club from the early years.
2) Former Revs II keeper Joe Rice is a name familiar to us, but who else should New Englanders be familiar with?
Danny Barrera is the obvious go to pick. He’s been with Hartford since year one and you may know him from his viral amazing goal in 2020 we like to call the “immaculate deflection.” This season, Prince Saydee has been out standout guy. He’s an absolute beast on the wing and has been terrorizing opponents backlines all year. Another name that could ring a bell is Conor McGlynn, brother of Philadelphia Union’s Jack McGlynn. Conor can hit rockets from distance consistently and even scored from midfield back in 2021.
3) Give us a quick overview of Hartford's general style of play and how effective (or ineffective) it's been this year with HFD out to a 1W-3L-2D start in USL play.
Hartford’s been inconsistent this year for sure. We like to say that “good things happen when you give Prince the ball” and for the most part that is true. Expect plenty of balls down the wings with crosses towards the #9 Elvis Amoh.
4) What needs to happen for HFD Athletic to win this game?
Simply put, Hartford needs to be consistent and ruthless when it comes to the chances they are given. What has led to them only having one win in league play has been their inability to finish in front of goal. There’s a draw that should’ve been a win, and one loss should’ve been at least a point. Those four points are a result of poor finishing in front of goal.
In the back, Hartford has been fairly consistent since allowing five goals on the first match day to Monterey (including a hat trick from our former star Alex Dixon- who consistently burns Hartford whenever he seeks payback.)
5) What could be the biggest factor in this game devolving into something…cupest-y?
How crazy this game can get can very well depend on the team that Bruce Arena puts out tomorrow. I’d imagine that he wouldn’t be putting out his strongest XI with an important Cincinnati match coming up; but you never know.
On the injury front, there is a chance that Hartford will be without their number 9 Elvis Amoh, as he missed last match vs Oakland. Andre Lewis is out for an extended amount of time, after picking up a scary injury at Colorado a few weeks back.
Possible Injuries: Andre Lewis (Head), Kembo Kibato (Foot), Elvis Amoh (Thigh)
Potential Lineup: 4-3-3
Backline: Sheldon, Tulu, Logue, Hodge
Midfield: McGlynn, Cedeno, Juan Pablo Torres
Forward: Saydee, Edwards, Hoppenot
Prediction: 3-1 Revolution
This is a big match for so many in the Hartford fan base. There are many who are fans of both sides, as the Revolution were an early local love for Connecticut residents. But Connecticut has often felt like the ugly stepchild of New England, being the butt end of jokes for years. This match will show that Connecticut, as a whole, has soccer culture and will show how far the region has come in the sport within the past 20 years.