Athletic finish 3-1 in Pre-Season Friendlies
It's been a while since we've posted here and I'll just admit that sometimes life gets in the way. But hey, that's no excuse, and Dr. Nutmeg and I have come together and put a plan in place to get you guys as much Athletic content as we can once the season gets underway. Speaking of which....OMG IT'S MF'ING GAMEWEEK.
First though, some housekeeping. There's been tons of updates since we last spoke to the world, including but not limited to: We have a full roster, a kit, a kit sponsor (only going to Trinity Health from now on...f my insurance works there of course...), a Supporter's Group (H/T 19th Regiment), and we have some real live game results. Let's start with the results.
On February 15th, the lads traveled south to New Jersey to face Red Bull II and they were rewarded for stepping into Dirty Jerz with a W. Alex Dixon and, my personal fav, Woj Woj had a goal a piece,while Athletics' defense stood strong to ensure the clean sheet. Thus, a 2-0 victory to the good guys.
After the frozen friendly against Red Bull, the team traveled down to Melbourne, Florida for some warmer training and a few more friendlies. While in the Sunshine State, Athletic took on Miami FC (NPSL), Orlando City B, and training camp hosts Eastern Florida State College.
Against Miami, Athletic played a back and forth affair that ended in a tough 3-2 loss. Alex Dixon continued to shine however, scoring both from the penalty spot and the run of play for Hartford. It's pretty clear Dixon has speed and skill down the wing which should be incredibly exciting to watch this year.
Bouncing back from the loss, Athletic beat Orlando City B 2-1with another header from Woj and a 93rd minute penalty from Jose Anguelo being the difference. Like Dixon on the wing, Woj has proven himself capable in the air this preseason which jives with his scouting report and gives us some aerial prowess.
Finally, a wrap-up match against Eastern Florida College saw Athletic come back from a 1-0 deficit early to win 2-1. A long range strike from Seb Dalgaard and an Anguelo free-kick were the difference in this one.
All in all, a successful preseason for Athletic. Scoring 2+ goals in every match shows me that our offensive prowess and ability to create scoring chances will be strengths for this team. However, I wouldn't say the defense was any worse off. Clearly the game against Miami was tough for our backline, but a clean sheet and two other 1 goal games should quell any defensive fears going into week 1. In general, I'd say it takes a bit more time for a defensive unit to come together than a team's offense. Where goal-scoring can consist of one or two beautiful combinations and moments of individual brilliance, defense is more about communication, shape, and movement; all of which take time to cultivate amongst the goalie and his back four.
On to the real games!