Published May 22, 2022
Written By:  Shawn Medow
             West Region Contributor


If you’re following soccer social media accounts you’ve probably seen FC Premier Women’s but might not know it.

Formerly known as Invictus Athletic Club Feminae, FC Premier Women has gone viral multiple times for impressive skills and goals in its past WPSL seasons – including posts like these 1.2 million views and counting   |  2.5 million and counting 

That popularity has brought in sponsors, fans and plenty of prospective players. 

Ahead of the 2022 season, the first in which the club will operate under its new FC Premier Women identity, the team completed the rebrand and put together tryouts. Even with short notice, more than 100 people registered and showed up but only five spots on the WPSL roster were up for grabs.

For FC Premier Women head coach Aaron Rodriguez, the limited spots indicate how competitive the team is becoming – especially for future seasons. Rodriguez says this season the team “was really specific” and that “every year it’s going to be even harder to make the team.”


The goals are pretty simple – just be as competitive as possible in every game,” Rodriguez said. “I think with the team that we have right now, just because it was very difficult for the tryouts to pick five players, it’s definitely going to be a very competitive team.”


This, however, left Rodriguez with the difficult task of selecting the team’s best lineup and how to implement substitutes. With the high turnover rate of most rosters in the WPSL, FC Premier Women will be at somewhat of an advantage by having many returning players. 


Players [are] on the bench who don’t deserve to be on the bench but it’s one of those things where someone has to be on the bench,” Rodriguez said. “Each player on the team is extremely talented and gifted. Even for me, I’m still trying to figure out what my starting lineup is going to look like.”


The club has helped lay the groundwork for multiple players to head to professional ranks around the world, including 2021 captain and Guatemala national team member Leslie Ramirez, who’s now at Chivas in Mexico.


The extra eyes on the club have been helpful for not just gaining popularity with fans but also when it comes to recruiting future players. There is a downside though: losing players to professional clubs around the globe. Rodriguez says it’s a conflicting feeling but, in the end, it’s what the WPSL is all about. 


The notoriety and stuff come back in full circle where the players see our players going pro or playing for the national team and then we get more players coming in that way,” Rodriguez said. “It makes it a bit easier in terms of scouting.”


Rodriguez has been coaching for a decade now – since he was 21 years old – and this 2022 FC Premier Women’s team might be the best of the batch. 


Our squad is the most competitive squad I’ve ever coached,” Rodriguez said. “I love all the teams I’ve coached but this team from one to 22 on every gameday roster is going to be interchangeable. Last year, we had our top scorers, and I could tell before the season that they were going to be our top scorers – this year, it’s just another level.” 


The team went 3-3-1 in 2021 and is looking to turn another corner this season and make a push for the postseason in its third year in the WPSL. Though, with the league playoffs and championship returning, the competition is only going to heat up – especially in a conference where each team can be a dark horse.


We always have competitive teams [in the division],” Rodriguez said. “It’s going to be close games, it’s going to be competitive, and it really depends on the day if someone shows up and one player decides to be a game-changer then that’s what it’s going to be to win that game.”


With the rebrand, online popularity, return of so many players and addition of the select few from tryouts, FC Premier Women has an upward trajectory that it's looking to cash in on. 


This year is going to be one of those years where every player on the roster can start and it’s just a matter of the small details,” Rodriguez said. “I’m hoping that we make a good run in the league and see where it takes us.” 


FC Premier Women open its 2022 season with a home match at St. John Bosco High School at 3:30 pm PT on Sunday, May 22 against the 2021 Coastal Division champion LA Surf Soccer Club.