The quartet of stars are funding the formation of the new team alongside local investors in San Diego, although a full team name has yet to be confirmed.
Hazard played 115 games alongside Cabaye and 70 alongside Sow while at Lille, before playing 35 times alongside Demba Ba at Chelsea following his move to the Premier League in 2012.Embed from Getty Images
San Diego will become the 10th team in the NASL when they enter play in Spring 2018, alongside a fellow expansion team in Orange County.
Chelsea star Hazard is one of the world’s most talented and widely recognised stars. He said San Diego’s passion for soccer is one of the key reasons behind the investment.
“San Diego is a beautiful place and the love and passion the people have for soccer made this an easy choice for us. My friends and I are honored to turn this dream into a reality and we can’t wait to get started and win some games.”Embed from Getty Images
Hazard’s former Chelsea teammate Demba Ba – who currently plays for Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua but is on loan at Besiktas – is planning for success in the NASL and beyond.
“Success is our goal – with the club, with the community, with everything that we do,” Ba said. “One of our goals is to sign players who have a strong passion for the game, who are competitive and love to win.
“I look forward to competing against our fellow California clubs and the rest of the NASL, as well as MLS clubs in the U.S. Open Cup. It is going to be up to us to be the best.”Embed from Getty Images
The expansion club will play their home matches at the University of San Diego until their own soccer-specific stadium is built, with sites currently being considered in North County.
The news comes just a couple of months after Didier Drogba became football’s first player-owner with USL side Phoenix Rising and there is a sense that an increasing number of the games biggest stars may be looking to invest in US Soccer.
AC Milan legend Paolo Maldini is the co-owner of NASL side Miami FC, who are coached by Alessandro Nesta. While David Beckham’s own Miami project recently received a boost in its pursuit of an MLS Expansion Team, following the acquisition of the land needed to build a 25,000-seater stadium.