History of the Clearwater Chargers Soccer Club

The Clearwater Chargers Soccer Club was originally formed in 1972 as a men’s team.  Over it’s 30 year history it has evolved into a successful training program for young people in the skills and techniques necessary to play quality soccer. Our goal has always been the total development of the player. This philosophy has produced numerous championship teams at the state, regional, and national levels. Our players learn the game, learn how to win, and most importantly how to transfer those important lessons into life experiences.

The Club fields competitive boys teams in the U-8 through U-19 age groups and girls competitive teams in the U-10 through U-18 age groups. The boys program has produced over 40 Florida State Champions. The girls program has produced over 12 State Champions. The Club routinely places several teams in the Final Four of the state competition and in 1997 placed a remarkable eight teams in the Final Four winning 5 State Championships with one team winning a National Championship.

In 1997 the Clearwater Chargers U-19 Boys team was victorious in the championship game of the National Final Four, winning the Snickers Cup USYSA National Tournament. The U-19 team was coached by Peter Mannino, Director of Coaching, and Rob O’Nan, President of the Club. We are very proud of this team’s accomplishments, and every team that wears the red and yellow. Several players from the team are currently assistant coaches for Charger teams.

The competitive Charger teams consist of more than 325 players who are trained by a skilled coaching staff that is dedicated to their improvement. Our coaches strive to develop individual skills and sportsmanship in the context of a competitive environment. Our strength lies in our sense of team and community loyalty. At our Annual Spring Awards Banquet, players who have been with the Club for three years are recognized becoming members of the Century Club. Players who have played their entire competitive careers for the Chargers are given a special award and honored as Lifetime Members of the Club. Over 30 former players now hold this distinction. Many graduating seniors from within the Club are given scholarships to assist with their college education. None of this success would be possible without the support and volunteer hours given by the parents in our organization and our Board of Directors.

In 2004, the Clearwater Chargers formed at recreation division of the club now called the Clearwater Rec Teams. This program was seeded from the old Clearwater Soccer Youth Program which closed. Coupled with the successful spring program called Micro Soccer, the Chargers are now reaching out beyond the competitive side of soccer to all levels of play in the local community to give every young player a chance to develop to their potential. These programs now make up a vital part of the overall Charger Program and many go on to be part of the competitive teams.

In 2007 the boards of the Clearwater Chargers and Countryside Lightning announced "long-term commitment" in which "full integration" by the 2008-2009 season.  During the 2007-2008 season the clubs’ respective boards iron out the details for their successful merger.