History of Chili Soccer Association
“Home of Little Guy Soccer”
Chili Soccer Association has a proud history as one of the oldest and largest soccer clubs in New York. Chili Soccer paved the way for many of our local clubs to become part of such a great soccer community. For over 40 years Chili Soccer Association has had the sole purpose to get area children to play and enjoy the game of soccer.
The Early Years
Chili Soccer Association was founded as “Little Guy Soccer” in 1969 by founder Edward Merante. Ed started the first Chili soccer team of 15 -18 year old boys called "The Westsiders", who competed against other local teams called the Eastsiders and the Baysiders. Thinking that it is a good idea to teach youth players at a younger age, Ed decided to build an organization to do just that.
In 1968 he started the first boys soccer program in the USA at the age of 7 years old with 4 teams and by 1969 the organization was born.
In 1970 the first inter-town season was kicked off with about 80 boys through a public response to the idea expressed by Ed Merante in local media. Localities including Spencerport, Hilton, and Churchville also formed teams for that first season. In 1972 the Chili Soccer Association was chartered and girls’ teams were added.
In 1974 the board of Chili approved Ed’s request to erect signs in Chili reading "Welcome to the Home of Little Guy Soccer". In 1983, the Town of Chili dedicated the soccer field in Memorial Park as “Ed Merante Field", which is used by Chili Soccer today.
In October 1990 Ed organized an International Soccer tournament in Chili with four international countries (Germany, Russia, Canada, Italy, and the Ukraine) along with the Chili team representing the USA.
The Growth of the Club
Over the years, Chili Soccer Association has grown…
Ed Merante – 1st Chairman
Roger McCracken – 1st President
Jeff Vieira - Current President