Sporting JAX clinic to add to already big day for soccer in city


Sporting JAX announced that it will host a soccer clinic prior to the Stateside Cup matchup between English Premier League clubs Wolves and West Ham United on July 27.

The announcement was held at the Flex Field next to Daily’s Place on June 25 and included a group of children from All Nations Soccer, a local organization that offers the opportunity to play soccer for those who are refugees or children of refugees.

“We’re making community magic happen here,” said former Jacksonville Jaguars’ running back Fred Taylor, who is a minority owner with Sporting JAX. “My vision when I joined the club was to make sure they are inclusive and finding different ways to give back to all areas of the community.”

Roughly 300 children are expected and include both boys and girls of a variety of ages.

“It’s an opportunity to just engage the community even further with the World Cup right around the corner,” Taylor said. “The future of soccer in America is extremely bright, and to have the opportunity to capture these kids at an early age is important. Allowing these kids to feel wanted is what its all about, and it brings joy to my heart.”

The United States will join Canada and Mexico as the host countries for the 2026 World Cup, as it will be the first time since 1994 that the event will be held in North America.

The fact that Sporting JAX is striving to create clinics and leagues for children and people with any background is something Taylor is most proud of.

“Sports has always been a common denominator and it has shown the ability to break down barriers and bring people from all over together,” Taylor said.

Since Taylor became part of the Sporting JAX ownership group, he has found himself watching soccer and trying to familiarize himself with the sport every chance he gets.

“It reminds me of my first year in the NFL and trying to learn the new playbook, but it’s really coming along,” Taylor chuckled. “I know this community and we love our sports here.”

The Stateside Cup contest will mark its own significance, as it will mark the first time two English Premier League clubs face off against each other in Jacksonville.

The matchup will start at 7 p.m. with the youth clinic taking place from 5 to 6 p.m. Tickets to the clinic will come with a ticket to the match and cost $65.