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Hartford professional soccer team joins league, but is still without a home

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HARTFORD–Professional soccer is officially coming to Greater Hartford, but the team’s home turf hasn’t yet been solidified.

On Monday, the National Premier Soccer League announced that Hartford City FC was officially designated an expansion team and would play in the Northeast Region’s Atlantic Conference. “FC” stands for “football club.”

“Hartford is an important step in the Northeast,” NPSL Chairman Joe Barone said. “It’s a huge soccer community surrounded by a wealth of elite collegiate soccer. It’s a tremendous bridge between Boston and New York City.”

The team was first announced in the summer of 2015.

The team’s owner, Aaron Sarwar, is a Hartford native and staple in the community. Besides serving in the Connecticut Air National Guard, Sarwar’s family has owned the Shish Kebab House of Afghanistan, located in West Hartford, for 28 years.

“Our goal is to get on the field and bring soccer to Hartford,” Sarwar added. “We believe that we have the biggest untapped soccer fan base in the country.”

Wethersfield High School graduate Hami Kara, a goalkeeper at the University of Pittsburgh, will serve as captain of the team.

Despite the step forward, the team is still without a home. While Sarwar has been fighting to have the team play at Dillon Stadium in Hartford, as of three weeks ago that battle was still ongoing. He says he has a plan B outside of Hartford, but is still hopeful a deal will be reached with the city.

Tryouts for the team will be held in late January and early February.

Here is a message from Sarwar: