Jimmy Nielsen knows about starting a team from scratch, especially after coaching the USL Championship's Oklahoma City Energy from 2014-17.
Now, Nielsen is working on another startup as coach of Hartford Athletic, which will begin its first season in the league in March. The team's home opener is set against the Charlotte Independence at revamped Dillon Stadium on May 4.
“I’ve been in Hartford since mid-August and I’ve had a fantastic time so far,” said Nielsen, who won the 2013 MLS Cup as goalkeeper for Sporting Kansas City. “They have a good passion for soccer here in the Northeast. I don’t have to sell or teach anyone the game. Everyone knows the game, and I find that attractive. You also have the New England Revolution, (New York City FC), the (New York) Red Bulls, Philadelphia Union, D.C. United, so it’s a great soccer market.”