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NO KICKS (CONT.)
Our own Rochester Lancers are from the smallest city in the NASL but should survive due to the extensive youth programs here—if they, like the others, put more Americans on the field.
Every public high school in this city and county fields a soccer team; the summer junior league has grown to two divisions, the amateurs to three, and most of our towns have a summer program for boys and girls.
We of the Chili Soccer Association are proud that the Little Guy soccer program, which began in our small suburb in 1970, has grown to about 150 teams in the county this year. Chili, with a population of about 20,000, is completing its fourth season with more than 600 soccer players from 6 to 15, plus two junior and two amateur teams and four girls' teams.
If the NASL can just keep going, programs such as ours will provide the future stars. As predicted earlier this year in SI by Clive Toye, the future Pel� is playing now in this country—maybe right now here in western New York.
Though I was an All-South selection in college and am presently playing for an amateur club, I have never been made aware of further professional possibilities. I mention this fact because there is much American-bred talent that is going to waste, not only from my standpoint but also that of many others. There are no clearly defined avenues to pursue leading into the pro ranks. If there were I'm sure you would see many more capable American players "learning the game by Rote."
UP WITH THE BIRDS (CONT.)