The Little Rock Rangers Soccer Club will be playing the final home game of their inaugural season Sunday evening at War Memorial Stadium. The team is made up of amateurs—mostly college players. Rangers President and General Manager Jonathan Wardlaw says starting the team this year has provided opportunities to reach out to youth.
“I’ve had several of the youth clubs…that do their summer camps… all asking for three or four of our guys to come around on the last day and kick around with the kids or hand out stuff to the kids and these kids know who they are. It’s pretty cool,” he says.
Wardlaw says this season’s home games have each drawn about two to three thousand fans. He says he hopes to translate that success into starting a women’s team next year.
“The way that stuff works, you get assigned a territory and so I at least thought we should go on and try to tie up the territory [and start a women’s team] before someone else comes in and starts a team because people from out of state will come in and start tying up territories. It’s kind of a cutthroat business,” Wardlaw says.
The team is one of eleven in the South Central Conference of the National Premiere Soccer League, considered the “fourth tier” of American soccer leagues. A potential women’s team franchise would be in the Women’s Premier Soccer League.