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Hartford Athletic Sign Mateo Ponce-Ocampo and Dren Dobruna to USL Academy Contracts

By Staff, 09/26/22, 12:15PM EDT


17-year-olds Join Hartford Athletic From NYCFC Academy

HARTFORD, Conn. - Hartford Athletic have signed Mateo Ponce-Ocampo and Dren Dobruna to USL Academy Contracts. The two 17 year old talents come to Hartford Athletic after spending a combined six years in the NYCFC Academy.

“These are two wonderful signings for our Academy,” said Technical Director Ray Reid. “Mateo and Dren will have the opportunity to train alongside our professional athletes and compete for minutes in the first team. Along with Pearse O’Brien, Damon Rouse, and Sebastian Pliszka, Mateo and Dren are prime examples of the talent that can develop rapidly through the professional environment that we provide. We couldn’t be happier to have them here.” 

The youngsters bring impressive experience to Hartford Athletic’s Academy. Ponce-Ocampo, a Harrison, New York native, has spent four years with the NYCFC Academy across their U14, U15, and U17 teams. Dobruna is a native of Waterbury, Connecticut, and the local boy appeared in three matches with NYCFC’s MLS Next side this season. In addition to his time with the NYCFC U15 and U17 squad, the defender appeared in two international friendlies with the Albanian National Team. Both Ponce-Ocampo and Dobruna were invited to preseason with the NYCFC first team in back to back seasons, and Ponce-Ocampo appeared in two preseason matches.

The USL Academy Contract allows both players to train and play for Hartford Athletic in the USL Championship while retaining NCAA eligibility. Ponce-Ocampo, an attacking midfielder, committed to play at Georgetown University in February of 2022.

“Mateo and Dren are impressive young talents,” said Hartford Head Coach Tab Ramos. “They are top players in their age group and have shown the potential to contribute at the first team level. As we continue to grow our academy system, these are two players we are very excited to bring into our organization.” 

Dobruna and Ponce-Ocampo are the fourth and fifth USL Academy contract signings of 2022 for Hartford Athletic.

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