Birmingham Legion FC's Enzo Martinez will look to lead his side to a season sweep of Hartford Athletic on Sunday evening at Protective Stadium. | Photo courtesy Hartford Athletic
The first quarter of the 2023 USL Championship season wraps up on Sunday evening as Birmingham Legion FC plays host to Hartford Athletic in the second meeting between the clubs this season with Legion FC aiming to retain its top-two position in the Eastern Conference.
Here’s a look ahead at all the action.
Venue: Protective Stadium
Kickoff: 5 p.m. ET
538.com Predictor: BHM 54%, HFD 22%, Draw 24%
The Lowdown: Birmingham Legion FC will look to build on success in the league and Open Cup in the past week as looks to complete a season sweep of a Hartford Athletic side that is coming off its first league win of the season two weeks ago. Legion FC (4-2-1, 13pts) earned a 2-1 victory against Orange County SC last Saturday night as Juan Agudelo and Enzo Martinez found the net at Championship Soccer Stadium. Martinez’s goal was his 60th regular season goal in the league for his career and moved the veteran to 99 combined goals and assists in the regular season. Birmingham also received stellar goalkeeping from Trevor Spangenberg both to preserve victory against Orange County and to help the side advance in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday night as he came through with a decisive save in a penalty shootout as Legion FC eliminated Chattanooga FC to advance to the Round of 32. Hartford (1-3-2, 5pts) wasn’t as fortunate in the Open Cup despite a good performance against the New England Revolution, falling 2-1 at Gillette Stadium, but Head Coach Tab Ramos’ side did claim a 2-1 victory on the road at Oakland Roots SC on April 15 to pick up its first league win of the season. The visitors will be hoping to turn the tables on Legion FC this time around after Birmingham claimed a 1-0 victory at Trinity Health Stadium on March 25 when Gabriel Alves scored the only goal of the game.
Birmingham Legion FC – Juan Agudelo: The former United States forward bagged his first league goal of the season in Orange County and has been a key creative piece for the side, leading Legion FC with 10 chances created.
Hartford Athletic – Prince Saydee: The Liberian winger found the net for the fourth time this league season against Oakland and provided the assist for Antoine Hoppenot’s goal against New England, maintaining a strong individual start to the campaign.