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The JAXSPORTS Council announced today that its annual Speaker Series will kick-off the 2016-17 season with the president of the United States Soccer Federation, Sunil Gulati, as its keynote speaker. The luncheon will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 31 at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront at 12:00 noon. Luncheon tickets are currently available to JAXSPORTS members and a limited number of tickets to the event will go on sale to the general public on Monday, July 18 at for $50 per person.

This Speaker Series luncheon, presented by SeaBest, will set the stage for the U. S. Men’s National Team (USMNT) World Cup qualifier against Trinidad and Tobago, which will be played at EverBank Field the following week on Sept. 6 at 8:00 p.m. This match is the final match of the semifinal round of 2018 World Cup qualifying, which could be vital for advancing to the final round of qualifying. Tickets for the FIFA World Cup qualifier are currently available at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, all Ticketmaster outlets or

Gulati was elected U.S. Soccer president in 2006, being re-elected in 2010 and again in 2014. He is credited with helping the sport of soccer rise to new heights, with more than 30 years of experience at all levels of U.S. soccer. Gulati’s mission is to continue improving soccer in the country by improving the sport’s structure and development, along with broadening the organization’s relationship with the international community.

“It is such an honor to host president Gulati here in Jacksonville leading up to us hosting a high-profile USMNT international soccer match,” said Charlie Tomm, chairman of the JAXSPORTS Council. “His work to overhaul the U.S. Soccer governance policies is remarkable. He has truly elevated the sport to prominence, and – as a soccer city – Jacksonville should be thrilled to have an opportunity to hear him share his insight.”
The annual JAXSPORTS Speaker Series will include three speaking engagements featuring key sports professionals providing insight into their professional worlds and a glimpse into the business of sports, all while highlighting and supporting key sports events.

The Speaker Series, in its third year, is sponsored by its Premier Partners: Adecco, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Coca-Cola, Fields Automotive, The Florida Times-Union, SeaBest, St. Vincent’s HealthCare and Prior JAXSPORTS Speaker Series events have featured key sports professionals including ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit, College Football Playoff COO Michael Kelly, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey and basketball greats Christian Laettner, Artis Gilmore and Chris Richard.