Hartford City FC
Hartford City FC is an American soccer team based in West Hartford, Connecticut. The team plays in the National Premier Soccer Leagues' Northeast Region, North Atlantic Conference. The team played its first game during the 2017 season. The Colts are coached by Christian Benjamin and play their games at Al-Marzook Field at Alumni Stadium in West Hartford, Connecticut. In their first season of play, the Colts reached the Atlantic Division-White Conference Finals. In the 2018 season the Colts were knocked out in the conference semi-final. Coach Benjamin stepped down as head coach in December 2018 and a new coach is due to be announced in February 2019.
|Full name||Hartford City Football Club|
|Stadium||Al-Marzook Field at Alumni Stadium|
West Hartford, Connecticut
|Head Coach||Nick Balistierri|
|League||National Premier Soccer League|
|2017||3rd, Atlantic White Conference|
Playoffs: Lost in Conference Finals
The Agents of Hale are an independent supporters group, and actually predate the existence of Hartford City. AoH stand in the southern end of the CCSU Soccer Field stands with members traveling in an RV fondly called The Bucket. The team averages about 69 people per game.
AoH and supporters of Elm City Express sponsor a trophy awarded to the winner of the season series between Hartford City and Elm City. The trophy, known to the supporters as "The Big Dumb Whale", is a four-feet-long, 40-pound bull sperm whale carved from white oak. The sperm whale is the official state animal of Connecticut. The white oak is Connecticut's official state tree, and represents the Charter Oak, where, as tradition has it, Connecticut's Royal Charter of 1662 was hidden from the English governor-general. In the competition's inaugural season, Elm City won the series 3–2 on aggregate. In 2018, HCFC took The Whale in the regular season's lone matchup, in a 2–1 win at home. Hartford retained The Whale in 2019, as Elm City Express spent the season on hiatus.
In 2019, the Agents of Hale along with Kingston Stockade FC's Dutch Guard established the Wooden Shoe, a fan cup to be awarded to the winner of the season series between the two teams. The Wooden Shoe pays homage to the Dutch origins of both cities. Stockade FC defeated Hartford City 2-1 on aggregate to win the first Wooden Shoe.
Hartford City FC's ownership group was unable to sign a lease for the XL Center because the city had issues with the group's handling of an outdoor soccer stadium development deal, the legal status of its main financial backer, and other critical issues. The group hoped to reconstruct Dillon Stadium in the South End of Hartford to create a 15,000 seat soccer-only stadium for the 2017 season but the city ended the project in early October 2015 over financial and legal concerns with the group. In July 2017, a U.S. District Court judge found developers James Duckett Jr. and Mitchell Anderson guilty of wire fraud, conspiracy and money laundering.
In 2016, local restaurateur Aaron Sarwar bought the copyright, trademark and logo for the team and began to build the team from the ground up. In November, the National Premier Soccer League announced that Hartford City FC would join the Atlantic division's White Conference for the 2017 season.
The team played their inaugural game on May 6, 2017 defeating Kingston Stockade FC 3–1 away. Their inaugural game at CCSU Soccer Field took place on May 13, 2017 where HCFC defeated Seacoast United Mariners 2–0. In their first season, the Colts finished 3rd in the White Conference with a 5–3–4 record, which qualified them for the playoffs. In the White Conference Semifinals, the Colts defeated New England rivals Boston City FC 2–1 to reach the White Conference Finals, thanks to an 85th-minute golazo from substitute Paulinton Johnson. They would go on to lose to Kingston Stockade FC 2–1.
|Year||Division||League||Venue||Record||Regular Season||Playoffs||Open Cup||Avg. Attendance|
|2017||4||NPSL||CCSU Soccer Field||5-3-4||3rd, Atlantic White||Conference Final||Ineligable||858|
|2018||4||NPSL||CCSU Soccer Field||6-3-1||3rd, North Atlantic||Conference Semi-Final||Did not qualify||—|
|2019||4||NPSL||Al-Marzook Field||5-5-4||4th, North Atlantic||Did not qualify||Did not qualify||69|
- Charter Oak
- "The Wooden Shoe". Dutch Guard SG. 2019-04-22. Retrieved 2019-08-29.
- Conyers, Matthew (August 12, 2015). "Hartford City FC Joins Major Arena Soccer League; Will Play At XL Center". Hartford Courant. Hartford, CT: Tribune Publishing. Retrieved August 14, 2015.
- "Hartford City FC – Pro Soccer Begins Season XL Center This November". Major Arena Soccer League. August 12, 2015. Retrieved August 14, 2015.
- Carlesso, Jenna; Kauffman, Matthew (October 22, 2015). "Federal Grand Jury Convening In Stadium Debacle; Subpoena Issued To City". Hartford Courant. Hartford, CT: Tribune Publishing. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
- Cohen, Jeff (October 8, 2015). "Hartford Professional Soccer Stadium Project All But Dead, Councilman Says". Hartford, CT: Connecticut Public Radio. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
- Cohen, Jeff (October 9, 2015). "With Soccer Stadium Deal Dead, Hartford Now Says It Was Overbilled". Hartford, CT: Connecticut Public Radio. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
- Kauffman, Matthew; Carlesso, Jenna (July 6, 2017), Duckett Convicted Of Fraud, Conspiracy In Dillon Stadium Debacle, Hartford Courant
- Kauffman, Matthew; Carlesso, Jenna (October 28, 2015). "Arena Soccer League Drops Hartford Team Over Concerns About Federal Investigation". Hartford Courant. Hartford, CT: Tribune Publishing. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
- Cohen, Jeff (October 28, 2015). "Team Says Arena Soccer League Cancels Hartford City FC's Season". Hartford, CT: Connecticut Public Radio. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
- KAUFFMAN, JENNA CARLESSO, MATTHEW. "Entrepreneur Revives Effort To Bring Soccer Team To Hartford". courant.com. Retrieved July 30, 2017.
- "Hartford professional soccer team joins league, but is still without a home". FOX 61. November 29, 2016. Retrieved July 30, 2017.
- "Hartford City FC Schedule". National Premier Soccer League.
- "National Premier Soccer League". npsl.bonzidev.com. Retrieved July 30, 2017.
-  Retrieved December 27, 2017