Jamaicans Beckford, Williams sign for USL team Hartford
HARTFORD, United States (CMC) — Reggae Boy Deshane Beckford has joined Hartford Athletic from Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, ahead of the new United Soccer League championship season which gets underway March 9.
Hartford has also signed another Jamaica international from Colorado Springs Switchbacks this week, after announcing the arrival of striker Romario Williams.
The 25-year-old Beckford, whose only international cap came two years ago, scored two goals and had four assists in 32 appearances last season, creating 28 chances while leading the team in shots taken with 53.
Beckford enjoyed a productive loan spell at Athletic two years ago and rejoins a side which endured a miserable campaign last term, finishing bottom of the Eastern Conference after managing only four wins in 34 outings.
“I am happy to reunite with coach [Brendan] Burke and be part of the project in Hartford,” Beckford said.
“This is one of the most passionate fan bases in the entire league and I’m glad to have them cheering me on and supporting me this season.
“I am also looking forward to integrating myself into Hartford’s large Jamaican community, something that I’m sure will make me feel right at home in my new city.”
At Hartford, Beckford joins fellow Jamaican Andre Lewis and Trinidad and Tobago’s Tristan Hodge.
A big admirer of Beckford, Burke said he expected the player to add great attacking value to the squad.
“We are very excited to bring Deshane to Hartford,” said Burke, who is also the club general manager.
“He is an excellent winger with great pace on the ball and is especially dangerous on the counterattack.
“He does a great job to put pressure on the opposition with his effort on defence as well. Our fans are really going to enjoy cheering on Deshane this season.”
Beckford has made 97 Championship appearances, scoring 11 goals and notching 12 assists.
Just hours after acquiring Beckford from the western United States franchise, Hartford said Thursday it had also secured the services of the 29-year-old Williams, “pending league and federation approval”.
Williams enjoyed a prolific United Soccer League championship season with the Switchbacks last term, banging in a season-best 15 goals in 30 appearances.
He added three assists, created 23 chances and registered 45 shots – the latter only second to countryman Beckford.
Williams will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to Hartford, having played in Egypt and Kuwait and also having had spells in Major League Soccer.