FC Hasental is a beacon of continuity of professional soccer in Southern California.
FC Hasental (aka ‘The Rabbits’) play in the Southwestern Division of the expanded National Premier Soccer League. The team has gone from strength to strength over the past four seasons, seemingly always competing for the top spot in the Southwest. Based out Thousand Oaks, the Rabbits have a strong group of players to choose from. FC Hasental is also a model example of continuity, engaging the local community, and striving for titles on a yearly basis. This is something that the NPSL has struggled with in the Southwestern division. However, FC Hasental hopes to start a new trend of having the same teams compete in the division year after year. The continuity will allow players to grow as players, individuals and citizens.
At the end of the day, the goal of the teams in the NPSL is raise the overall level of competition of American soccer, give young players a chance to play in a nationally recognized league (4th Tier) and engage the local community to promote the sport at a grassroots level. Looking to the 2016 season, Head Coach Eric Warner said, “Our goal is to continue to develop high quality players, but also have them be great people. We want them to have success beyond the field.” A solid group of young men (and women) with the right focus, high quality character and driven ambition is FC Hasental’s goal.
Warner went on to say, “On the field, the goal is to craft technically gifted players that are insightful, thoughtful soccer players. We want players to win with humility and lose with respect.” To Coach Warner, it’s about creating a distinct style of play that promotes creativity to inspire the next generation of soccer players. Warner said, “We want our First Team to act as a beacon to the style we want to play. Sometimes it’s challenging to balance the American ‘win at all cost ethos’ versus the promoting our style of play. Everybody wants a winner now.” Nevertheless, Coach Warner and the entire FC Hasental staff is committed to their model of player development and believe winning can coexist together. It’s not all about winning; rather its the skills learned, relationships forged and passion shared.
The recent expansion in the Inland Empire and two teams in San Diego will allow teams in the region to build rivalries and grow better engaged fanbases, while keeping expensive traveling costs low. FC Hasental’s General Manager Briggs Palmer spoke about the reality and financial burden of soccer player development as the main obstacle to continued player production in America. “There is an worldwide platform where player development is encouraged to not only raise the level of play, but also as a financial incentive (via Training Compensation). It’s something we lack here in America, but as we stay committed to the vision of player development and continue to build inertia around the sport, we believe financial compensation is a realistic possibility.”
As a first step, FC Hasental is a professional club that does not use amateur or college players in their First Team. This has given them the opportunity to establish relationships with professional clubs to loan players to and from fully professional teams. In 2015, FC Hasental had an agreement with LA Galaxy II (Los Dos) to exchange players via an intercambio. They are in talks to extend the intercambio relationship into the future as well. The
FC Hasental look forward to using their NPSL experience to winning the title in the expanded division. To stay up to date with FC Hasental news you can follow them on social media (FB, IG, TW) or their website.