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Hartford Athletic named USL's newest team, will begin play in 2019

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Hartford Athletic will join the United Soccer League as an expansion team in 2019, the league announced on Wednesday.

The Connecticut team is the sixth expansion franchise to come into the league next season, joining Austin, Memphis, El Paso, New Mexico and Birmingham.

"Hartford makes the sixth addition to the USL for 2019 and strengthens the league's presence in the Northeast with a thriving city that boasts a rich soccer history," said USL CEO Alec Papadakis.

"The league continues to reach new heights through record attendance and additional expansion into exciting new markets. Hartford will join Austin, Memphis, El Paso, New Mexico and Birmingham as new clubs in 2019."

The team announced it will play its home matches in soon-to-be restored Dillon Stadium, which is located in the city.

"After years of planning and hard work, we are excited to officially announce that professional soccer is coming to Hartford and Dillon Stadium will be brought back to life," said Bruce Mandell, Chairman & CEO of Hartford Sports Group. "We're proud of where we're from and can't wait to build a club that will energize our community and bring people together.

"As an organization, we're dedicated to winning on and off the field, and we have all the ingredients for success that we've seen in so many other soccer cities. Let's dream big together and use the world's game to continue the momentum in Hartford."