Kevin Hasenack Joins Soccer Chaplains United Ahead of Rapids 2 Premier
Since moving to Colorado in 2010 and turning on the television to watch the local soccer team in the MLS Cup final, Kevin Hasenack has been a fan — not just of football (soccer), but of the Colorado Rapids. But more than a fan, this local pastor to Calvary Wellspring (located in Aurora, CO) has been involved in the game at different points and in different ways. Pastoring and befriending a former Colorado Rapids 1st Team player and his family further piqued his interest in the “Beautiful Game,” but also revealed some of the more difficult sides to being an elite pro.
The challenges that I see is that athletes are asked of a lot: fans ask a lot of them, the media asks a lot, soccer asks a lot of them — I want to help them and protect them from being overburdened by all the asking and try to just give and serve them instead.Hasenack, on seeing into the professional side of soccer
Late last year, when Major League Soccer (MLS) announced the creation of a professional league and division to help fill in some player development pathway gaps, the conversations around different clubs centered around when (not if) the “2” teams would emerge. With the Colorado Rapids, the timing was right as the club was coming to the end of their agreement and affiliation with the Colorado Springs Switchbacks and made the decision to join as an inaugural and founding member of the MLS Next Pro League, a 3rd division of professional soccer in North America.
MLS Next Pro will feature a mixture of MLS club “2” teams and a few independent clubs that have high level programs and enter via invitation. By 2023, all MLS teams will have a team participating in the MLS Next Pro, a timeframe that allows certain clubs to finish competing in the United Soccer League (Championship) Division. USL—Championship is certified by US Soccer as a 2nd Division league, but the franchise fees and demands (stadium size, etc.) are tough to market alongside the 1st Team attraction that exists for MLS clubs already. By forming the MLS Next Pro League, MLS clubs are able to keep finances and players more “in-house” and under the watchful eye of the club in terms of development. The MLS Next Pro League also is akin to the way many football clubs around the world develop younger talent and have “reserve” or U-23 squads and teams that play competitively.
Kevin’s background has a special connection to Chaplain Clint Moore (New Mexico United, USL-Championship) as Clint and Kevin were college roommates and Clint had a significant influence in Kevin’s faith journey as a young Christian in college. You can read more about Kevin’s background on his bio page, found here.
Clint was one of the first guys I called after initially talking with Brad to see what his experience with Soccer Chaplains United was like. He encouraged me to continue on in the process after entering into some initial conversations. I have also been privileged to ask (a former Rapids player) what his experience of chaplains and chaplaincy has been across the different teams he has played with. After hearing his story, I want to be that person that can support and make sure that people aren’t alone in their soccer journeys and lives.Kevin, on his investigations into Soccer Chaplains United and soccer chaplaincy
Kevin joins the team serving the Colorado Rapids as a volunteer chaplain and will be the point person for the Rapids 2 squad, as well as offering additional coverage for Rapids 1st Team and Academy needs. Kevin’s placement helps to fill in the gaps since the departures of chaplain assistant Gerardo Alvarez and Reubèn Rodríguez in 2019 and 2021, respectively.
This year is just a build and gain trust year. I want to get to know people and see if there are any simple needs that I can step into and serve. This year will be an exercise in patience, I imagine, and I want to be there in any way that I can.Kevin, on his hopes for serving Rapids 2
Please join me in praying for Kevin and the work with Rapids 2 and the larger Rapids organization as Kevin and I work to integrate and serve the teams and people represented here.
Kevin joining Soccer Chaplains United, brings the ministry’s chaplain group to its largest size yet — with 18 chaplains, now, total.
Soccer Chaplains United is non-profit, 501(c)3 and depends upon the financial support of our partners to carry out our work of developing chaplaincy across all levels of soccer. Please consider making a contribution today to help us continue growing our chaplains and our work.