The state’s new professional soccer program has hired its first employee.
USL Arkansas officials this week announced Wes Harris as the managing director who will lead the pro men’s and women’s teams that will play at a new stadium in Rogers.
The new 5,000+ seat stadium will be built near the corner of Lazy L Street and Bellview Road, near the Pinnacle Hills Promenade.
A 12-year resident of Northwest Arkansas, Harris has held consulting roles at Johnson & Johnson and HARIBO and was managing editor of a media outlet called Business of Soccer, according to a news release. Before moving to the region, Harris co-founded the men’s club soccer team at Saint Joseph’s University, the release stated.
“Wes’s passion for soccer, coupled with his strong leadership background, aligns perfectly with our vision for USL Arkansas,” said Warren Smith, co-founder of the program. “His shared commitment to creating a team that truly represents Northwest Arkansas makes him the ideal choice to lead our club. We’re excited to see how he will shape the future of our club.”
As managing director of USL Arkansas, Harris will be tasked with building the club from the ground up, focusing on community engagement, public relations, system and process development, fundraising, and more.
Harris said the new job fulfills a lifelong passion he’s had with the sport of soccer.
“I’m honored to take on this role and am committed to creating a vibrant soccer culture that resonates with our community,” he said.
The official team name, colors, and branding will be developed in the coming months, officials said, and USL Arkansas plans to solicit local feedback to help with the process.
If all goes well, both the new men’s and women’s teams will begin play in the 2026 season, prior to the FIFA World Cup that’s set to take place in the U.S. that same year.