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Limited number of fans will be able to cheer on Hartford at Dillon Stadium – The Collinsville Press
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Limited number of fans will be able to cheer on Hartford at Dillon Stadium

A limited number of fans will be allowed into Dillon Stadium to root on the Athletic on Monday, July 20.  (Photo courtesy Hartford Athletic)

HARTFORD, July 14, 2020 – A limited number of fans will be able to attend upcoming Hartford Athletic soccer games at Dillon Stadium, the team announced on Tuesday.

The professional soccer team said they will be able to fill Dillon Stadium open to around 1,370 fans or 25 percent of the stadium’s capacity of 5,500 fans.

Hartford opens their USL Championship season on Friday night when they travel to face New York Red Bulls II. Hartford’s season opener will be broadcast on WCTX Channel 59 (MyTV9) and streamed on

The Athletic will play their first home game of the 2020 season on Monday, July 20 when they host Loudoun United out of Leesburg, Va., in a game that will be nationally televised on ESPN2.

It will be the first of nine games at Dillon Stadium for Hartford, which never got their season going. The season was suspended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic before the Athletic set foot on the field.

“After months of hard work and collaboration with local and state government, we look forward to safely opening our doors to our loyal and dedicated fans this season,” said Hartford Athletic Chairman Bruce Mandell.

Safety protocols and procedures that will be in effect that will require fans, vendors, media and team officials to be wearing masks at all times – except while consuming food or beverages. Ushers will be located throughout the stadium to assist and enforce safe and distanced seating protocols and no cash will be accepted for purchases at the facility.

No tailgating in the parking lots will be allowed. Additional rules and regulations are on the team’s website. The team continues to work with the city of Hartford and the state of Connecticut on safety rules and protocols.

Season ticket members and Flex Plan holders will receive priority for tickets and a waitlist will be set up for contests.

Hartford tuned up for their opening night match with New York with a 3-1 exhibition victory over the New England Revolution II on Friday at Dillon Stadium.

Hartford’s Ever ‘Cheno’ Guzmán scored the first goal of the evening, sliding to finish off a beautiful ball from Alex Dixon for the opening goal.

There was plenty of action in the second half. Hartford swapped in a brand new 11-man unit in the second half. Danny Barrera had a great chance for Athletic, curling a ball towards the top corner, but the Revolution keeper made an incredible leaping save to keep the score 1-0. Moments later, Revolution answered with a goal of their own to tie the match at 1-1.

From that point on, the Hartford midfield dominated. Tyreke Johnson fed a ball into Dre Deas, who jumped in the air to direct the bouncing ball into the net for a 2-1 lead. In the final minutes of the match, second-year midfielder Mads Jørgensen collected a loose ball at the top of the box, found a lane, and fired a ball past the keeper for the third goal of the game for Hartford.

The 17 teams in the USL’s Eastern Conference were split up into four groups to reduce the amount of travel for the teams, who will each play 16 games in a shortened campaign.

Hartford is in Group F with New York, Loudoun United, Philadelphia Union II and 2019 Eastern Conference champion Pittsburgh Riverhounds. Each team will play their fellow group members three times with one out-of-group contest.

The top two teams in each group will qualify for the USL Championship playoffs.

Group E: Indy Eleven, Louisville City FC, Saint Louis FC, Sporting Kansas City II
Group F: Hartford Athletic, Loudoun United FC, New York Red Bulls II, Philadelphia Union II, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Group G: Birmingham Legion FC, Charlotte Independence, Memphis 901 FC, North Carolina FC
Group H: Atlanta United 2, Charleston Battery, Miami FC, Tampa Bay Rowdies

Hartford Athletic 2020 USL Championship Schedule
July 17:  @ New York Red Bulls II, 7 p.m.
July 20: LOUDOUN UNITED FC**, 7 p.m.
July 29: @ Indy Eleven
August 2: LOUDOUN UNITED FC, 7 p.m.
August 9: @ Philadelphia Union II
August 15: NEW YORK RED BULLS II, 7 p.m.
August 19: @ Philadelphia Union II
August 23: LOUDOUN UNITED FC, 7 p.m.
Sept. 5: LOUDOUN UNITED FC, 7 p.m.
Sept. 12: @ Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Sept. 16: NEW YORK RED BULLS II, 7 p.m.
Sept. 26: @ Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Oct. 4: @ New York Red Bulls II
*All home matches to be played at Dillon Stadium

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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