Birmingham Legion FC tops USL Championship standings after last minute comeback win [PHOTOS]

Birmingham Legion FC v. Hartford Athletic at Protective Stadium, April 30, 2023 (Trent Giles)

With only two minutes remaining in extra time, the Birmingham Legion’s Alex Crognale headed in a perfectly placed corner kick by Enzo Martinez to secure a victory over Hartford Athletic this past Sunday.

The 3-2 victory propels the Three Sparks to the top of the USL Championship standings.

Worst 1st Half Ever

The win came after Birmingham played an uninspiring first half, falling behind to Hartford 1-0 in front of the home crowd at Protective Stadium.

“It was probably one of our worst halves ever,” said Legion’s Head Coach Tommy Soehn. “We had a harsh talk in the locker room about our character, making sure we know who we are. We had an opportunity to get to the top of the table, and understanding what that means. I didn’t quite say it that nicely, if you can imagine, but at least it motivated us to come out in the second half.”

Roaring Back

Prosper Kasim -Birmingham Legion FC v. Hartford Athletic at Protective Stadium, April 30, 2023 (Trent Giles)

The Legion roared back in the second half dominating possession. They tied the game at 1-1, when Uruguayan and 2022 Legion MVP Enzo Martinez found the back of the net off a Prosper Kasim corner.

The tie was short lived when Hartford countered against the run of play two minutes later. Hartford striker Kyle Edwards scored after he got behind the Legion defense leaving him one-on -one  against Legion goalkeeper Trevor Spangenberg.

Ten minutes later, the Legion found an equalizer once again, this time starting from the back with a pass to midfield by Spangenberg to Juan Agudelo, who sent the ball to Kasim hitting him in full stride on the left flank. Kasim then connected an exquisite pass to Martinez in the box, who calmly buried the ball in the back of the net.


Legion continued to press the remaining 15+ minutes, missing several opportunities to score. Then lightning struck in the 93rd minute with the go ahead goal by Crognale.

Below are photos from the game by photographer and Magic City Brigade supporter Trent Giles.

Top of the Table

After 8 games, Legion FC holds a one point lead over the Charleston Battery at the top of the USL Championship Eastern Conference table. Next up!

Birmingham’s next game is on Wednesday, May 3rd on the road at Miami FC. You can watch the match on My68 or on ESPN+ and can follow @bhmlegion on Twitter for live match updates and highlights. 

The Legion’s supporter group — Magic City Brigade — will also be holding a watch party at Ghost Train Brewing. The kickoff is at 6PM.

The Black & Gold return to Protective Stadium on Saturday, May 6th to face the Oakland Roots, and fans can grab tickets at

Have you attended a Birmingham Legion FC game lately? Share with us your fondest memories on social media by tagging us at @bhamnow

Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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