PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island’s new United Soccer League (USL) team is expected to reveal its name and logo on Monday.
The team will be playing their home games at the new stadium being built in Pawtucket as part of the Tidewater Landing Project.
While the plan to pay for the $344 million project has received some criticism from Pawtucket residents and officials, others told 12 News they are excited about the arrival of a new sports team.
“I never thought I’d see the day that the little ole state of Rhode Island would have a pro team, so this is amazing,” said Yair Correa, Head Coach of Cranston West Boys’ Soccer. “The number of resources it’s going to create for these kids and the competition that is also going to arise is going to be amazing to see.”
Correa also talked about how the addition of a professional soccer team in Rhode Island could lead to the opening of more soccer “academies,” which help young soccer players develop their skills on the field.
“Now that you have a pro team here in Rhode Island, you have them competing nationally, and of course, as most pro teams– there’s going to be an academy system, he said.
12 News also spoke with Brandon Iannelli, head coach of Rhode Island Rogue FC — a semi-professional women’s soccer team who plays its home games at Roger Williams University in Bristol.
“I just think it’s going to be a great platform to bring people together and just strengthen our community,” Iannelli said.
Iannelli added that the 2026 World Cup will have an impact on the game in New England.
“I think the game is growing all over the world especially in this country now with the World Cup coming here soon,” he said.
FIFA, the organization that governs world soccer, selected Boston as one of the host cities for the 2026 World Cup, meaning some matches will be held at Gillette Stadium.
Each host city is expected to host four-six matches during the tournament.