These are boom times for the city of Jacksonville when it comes to soccer.
On Thursday, the second-division North American Soccer League announced that the city was awarded an expansion franchise beginning play in the spring of 2015. Sunshine Soccer Group, which includes former MLS goalkeeper Darío Sala, claimed the winning bid.
“I have seen first-hand the desire the Jacksonville community has for a professional soccer team to call its own and believe this is a great move for soccer in Florida," NASL commissioner Bill Peterson said in a statement.
But just days ago, the most prominent sports owner in Jacksonville, the NFL Jaguars' Shad Khan, made waves in the international soccer world with his purchase of English Premier League side Fulham FC.
And part of his vision for the London-based club involves the city of Jacksonville. In fact, Khan announced that Fulham will play preseason matches at EverBank Field in 2014 and he feels that the city of Jacksonville will stand to benefit by the international exposure.
"If you look at the eyeballs, the typical Fulham game has, you know, 3 or 4 million people," Khan said. "I think it really gives us a huge amount of upside to play especially starting with the friendlies and some of the preseason games."
If you were a Jacksonville resident, would you adopt Fulham as your club or do you get behind your new local NASL team? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.