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Veteran defender Matt Sheldon joins Hartford Athletic

By Staff, 01/31/23, 9:55AM EST


Right-sided player has made 123 appearances across regular season, playoffs in Championship over career

New Hartford Athletic defender Matt Sheldon has made 123 appearances across the regular season and playoffs in the USL Championship over his career. | Photo courtesy Eric Glemser / Memphis 901 FC

HARTFORD, Conn. – Hartford Athletic announced on Tuesday the club had signed defender Matt Sheldon ahead of the 2023 USL Championship season. The transaction is pending league and federation approval.

Sheldon comes to Hartford after a season with Charleston Battery. The 30-year-old made 27 starts and played 2,325 minutes during the 2022 campaign. A defender who frequently looks to distribute from outside areas, Sheldon led Charleston in crosses with 65 and recorded two assists. One of his helpers came against Hartford Athletic on July 16th, when he pin-pointed a pass across the box to an open Augustine Williams.

“I’m thrilled to come to Hartford,” said Sheldon. “Playing at Trinity Health Stadium last year, I know that Hartford has built up a loyal group of supporters and a passionate soccer community. This is a great roster of players who I cannot wait to compete with. Coach Ramos has a clear vision for this group and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

Over six USL Championship seasons with four different teams, Sheldon has made 123 appearances across the regular season and playoffs and logged more than 8,000 minutes. Prior to joining Charleston in 2022, he spent three seasons from 2019 to 2021 with FC Tulsa. He played a major role in their defense, swiping 48 interceptions, making 40 tackles, and winning 182 duels across 65 starts.

“Matt is an important addition to our back line,” said Athletic Head Coach Tab Ramos. “His defensive qualities, ability on the ball and desire to make the effort to attack make him a great fit for our system of play.”

Outside of the United States, Sheldon has made stints with German club SG Kinzenbach New Zealand club Waterside Karori AFC. A native of Portland, Oregon, Sheldon stayed out west to play collegiately at UC Davis from 2011 to 2014. He made 81 appearances over four years, scored 15 goals, and recorded seven assists.

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