Efrain “Chico” Chacurian - National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 1992

CHICAGO (Feb. 17, 2019) – National Soccer Hall of Fame inductee Efrain “Chico” Chacurian, who played and coached throughout New England from the 1950s until the late 80s, passed away today – a week before his 95th birthday. He was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1992.

Born in Córdoba, Argentina, Chacurian emigrated to the United States from Argentina in 1947 after starting his professional career with Racing Club near Buenos Aires.

Once in the U.S., he played for Armenians of New York’s Eastern District League from 1947 to 1949 before playing in the American Soccer League with Brooklyn Hispano, completing one season with the club. Chacurian then moved to the New York Swiss, with whom he spent the bulk of his career (eight seasons), of the German-American Soccer League. After leaving New York Swiss, he played for Bridgeport City in Connecticut.

It was during his time with the New York Swiss that Chacurian, played four games for the U.S. Men’s National Team, including three World Cup qualifiers against Mexico and Haiti – against whom he scored a goal in a 3-2 win – as the U.S. attempted to reach the World Cup in 1954.

Although he began coaching youth soccer in 1962 while still a player, it was following his playing career that he coached several collegiate teams in Connecticut, including Southern Connecticut State (1965-75), Yale University (1976-80), and the University of Bridgeport (1983-88). During his time at Yale, Chacurian helmed the Bridgeport Vasco da Gama club that reached the 1978 U.S. Open Cup Final.

Chacurian would also help guide the Region 1 ODP team in multiple capacities, including as head coach, for more than 30 years until he was 88. A soccer field at Short Beach Park in the Lordship section of Stratford was named in to honor him.

Chacurian is survived by his wife of 65 years, Florence, three daughters, Janet Padgett, Louise Iwanski, and Nancy Vivieros, a grandson, Brandon Hall, granddaughters, Amanda Iwanski, Rachel Makowski, and Alyssa Iwanski, a great-grandson, Declan Makowski.