USL Championship team Hartford Athletic have signed Reggae Boyz forward Romario Williams ahead of the 2024 season, pending league and federation approval. 

“I am very excited about the opportunity to play for Hartford and compete in front of one of the best fan bases in the league,” Williams said. “Between the new players joining the roster and the style of play Coach Burke employs, there is so much to be excited about. I am ready to get to work!” 

Williams comes to Hartford with nine years of experience as a professional across MLS, USL Championship, and abroad. A prolific goal scorer, the 29-year-old posted a career year with Colorado Springs in 2023. Williams tied his career high in goals (15) and assists (three) in a season, matching his stellar season with the Charleston Battery in 2017. The 15 tallies led Colorado Springs and were seventh most in the Championship. 

“We are very happy to add a goal scorer like Romario to our attacking core,” said Head Coach and General Manager Brendan Burke. “He’s an experienced player who knows what it takes to win at the highest level, and he will be a leader for this team both on the field and in the locker room.” 

After being taken by the Montreal Impact (now CF Montréal) third overall in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft, Williams made appearances with Atlanta United and the Columbus Crew. His best MLS season came in 2018 with Atlanta, when he appeared in 17 matches and scored a goal to help the club towards their first MLS Cup victory. 

Williams played abroad from 2020 to 2021, scoring three goals with Al Ittihad of the Egyptian Premier League across two full seasons, then adding five more goals with Qadsia SC of the Kuwait Premier League. He returned to the USL Championship in 2022 with New Mexico United.

A native of Portmore, Jamaica, Williams has earned 17 international caps for his home country. He most recently scored a goal for the Reggae Boyz in a 2-1 win over Grenada in the CONCACAF Gold Cup Nations League last October, the third of his international career. 



Reggae Boy Deshane Beckford is hoping to hit the ground running on his return to Hartford Athletic when the United Soccer League (USL) championship season gets underway in March.

The midfielder, who enjoyed a productive loan spell at Hartford Athletic two years ago, rejoins the team at a time when they require some impetus, as they endured a dismal campaign last season, and finished at the foot of the Eastern Conference with a mere four wins in 34 outings.

Beckford in confirming his move from Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, where he scored two goals and had four assists in 32 appearances last season, expressed delight at being reunited with coach Brendan Burke.

“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,” he added.

The 25-year-old, whose lone international cap came two years ago, joins compatriot Andre Lewis and Trinidad and Tobago’s Tristan Hodge at Hartford Athletic.

Meanwhile, Burke, a big admirer of Beckford has high expectations from a player he believes will add great attacking value to the squad. Beckford has made 97 Championship appearances, with 11 goals and 12 assists to his record.

“We are very excited to bring Deshane to Hartford. He is an excellent winger with great pace on the ball and is especially dangerous on the counterattack,” Burke, who is also the club general manager, shared. “He does a great job to put pressure on the opposition with his effort on defense as well. Our fans are really going to enjoy cheering on Deshane this season,” he noted.

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