San Diego Loyal SC vs. Hartford Athletic
Saturday, June 11 at 7 pm
Torero Stadium – USD
TV: ESPN +
The Loyal return home, looking for their first win in five matches
The Loyal are coming home to start a four game stretch of games at Torero Stadium, which will start off with a match against a Hartford Athletic team that has underwhelmed in the 2022 campaign.
After a terrific start which saw the Loyal leap to the top of the USL, San Diego did not win in May, and have won just one of their last eight matches. They Loyal currently find themselves in fourth place of the Western Conference at (6-4-3), which is good for 22 points.
Hartford is in eleventh place in the Eastern Conference, with a record of (2-2-7), having scored just eight points. While that record puts them eleventh in the Eastern Conference, they’d be dead last in the Western Conference. However, seven of Hartford’s eight points have come in their last four matches, as they may be finding their form.
The Loyal have won four of their five home games this season, as their struggles have come away from Torero Stadium. They’ve won just two of their eight road games, so it’ll be a welcome return to San Diego for the Loyal.
Last Time Out
The Loyal took on the USL-Worst New York Red Bulls II in New York, ultimately ending in a 2-2 draw. The Red Bulls quickly jumped out in front, moving into a 2-0 lead just 25 minutes into the match. However, Thomas Amang scored twice in the second half to salvage a point. Amang’s second goal came in the 88th minute, as the Loyal sent a furious barrage at the Red Bulls defense.
The Loyal have relied on their offense all season, as their 27 goals scored is the second-most in the USL. The only team that’s scored more, the El Paso Locomotive SC, has played two more matches than the Loyal.
However, San Diego’s defense has been their weak point for much of the season, which is why the Loyal were forced to rally against the Red Bulls. In their first 13 matches, the Loyal have recorded just one clean sheet, and they’ve surrendered multiple goals eight times. They’ve given up 16 goals in their last seven matches, a major reason for their poor form of late.
Week 14 vs. Hartford Athletic
Hartford is one of the worst teams in the USL, and while they’re playing their best football of the season, it is still a must-win game for the Loyal.
The Loyal have been fantastic at home this season, and Hartford have not won away from Connecticut this season. Hartford plays solid defense, having allowed just 17 goals this season, but the Loyal have the talent on offense to break Hartford down. Thomas Amang will look to keep his strong form after recording a brace last time out, while Kyle Vassell will look to add to his eight goals, good for second in the USL.
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It’ll be a great chance for the Loyal defense to perform. Only the New York Red Bulls II have scored less goals than Hartford this season, so it’ll be a fantastic opportunity for Elijah Martin and Co. to show their talent.
The Loyal score well and struggle to defend, while Hartford defends decently and hardly scores at all. It’ll be a clash of styles in a crucial match for the Loyal, as Landon Donovan’s team seeks to get back to winning ways.
Sam is a Senior in High School. He has been writing for three years, and started at EVT in June of 2021. He’s headed to Syracuse’s Newhouse School of Communications in the fall of 2023.