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Could Jax score a pro soccer team?

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Updated: 7/12/2013 8:41 pm

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jaguars may not be the only pro sports team playing at EverBank. Action News has learned the River City is a top candidate for a National American Soccer League expansion team for the 2015 season.

Mark Frisch didn't play soccer as a kid. In fact, he was never really a fan of the sport growing up.

But that's all changed. He's now the city's top cheerleader, hoping to score a pro team for Northeast Florida.

"I want to bring more entertainment to the city," said Frisch. "Sports is a great form of entertainment, and I think pro soccer could certainly provide some great entertainment for our citizens."

The Jacksonville-native is the CEO of the Sunshine Soccer Group.

They hosted last week's friendly match at EverBank Field between two teams from Mexico.

"There's a void for the city of Jacksonville. I'm just trying to help fill that void."

He's meeting with league officials in two weeks in Dallas. If successful, the team will likely play at an existing facility like EverBank Field.

But the end goal is building a soccer-specific stadium downtown, possibly the neglected shipyards.

Jacksonville's Sports and Entertainment Director, Alan Verlander, says the city may kick in some incentives.

"They would have to look at do they want to play at EverBank vs. do they want to look at somewhere else," said Verlander. "If they look somewhere else then it's going to be harder for us to give them great incentives."

"We need to say we can show up to every game, 14 times, 15 times a year," proclaimed Frisch. "Come out 6,7,8,000 people and have a great supporters group, have a great fan base."

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