Hartford Athletic may only be in its second season as a club, but for two returning players, their history goes way beyond 2019.
“Good friends since we were what, 5 and 6 years old?” Athletic forward Harry Swartz said, looking at teammate Mac Steeves. “I've always looked up to Mac, figuratively and literally.”
“Like brothers,” Shwartz and Steeves said, growing up outside of Boston, teammates almost always.
“We played against each other in college,” said Steeves. “He went to Northeasten, I went to Providence.”
But it was just a matter of time before they were teammates again.
“When I was on trial I was actually sleeping in his living room for the first few weeks,” said Shwartz, who signed his first professional contract with Hartford last year.
Just like brothers, the two suited up for Athletic with proud parents looking on.
“I know our dads were always talking when we were younger, ‘oh can't wait until they grow up see what they can do,'” said Steeves. See, they’re not the first Swartz and Steeves duo to take the field.
“Growing up our dads played together in high school, actually for the same coach that we actually played for,” said Swartz. “Pretty sure my mom cried last year in my debut. When she took a picture of me and Mac she started tearing up a bit.”
Being a professional soccer player is already one-in-a-million, but living that dream with a lifelong friend, that’s even rarer.
“It’s just awesome to get this far with a guy that I've known for so long,” said Swartz.
“From town soccer to club soccer now to this,” said Steeves. “It's crazy.”