How the show started
With the success of the 1994 World Cup in the USA, former Rochester Lancers owner Charlie Schiano began the first ever soccer talk show in North America, “Soccer is a Kick in the Grass”, on June 16, 1994 and was joined in that 1st season by former Lancers radio voice, the late Wayne Fuller, and future Rochester Rhinos and Lancers broadcaster Joe Giuliano.
Changes up to the present
From 1995 to 2006, Charlie shared the mic with former Lancers’ trainer Joe Sirianni. With Charlie’s retirement from radio at the end of 2006, Joe took over as the show’s host and brought in Rochester Rhinos broadcaster Andrew Battisti as the new co-host and the late Bruno Sniders as the show's producer. In 2008, former Lancers’ keeper and Canadian Soccer Hall of Famer “Mr. Zero” Dick Howard joined the show as the international correspondent. In 2013, one of the top soccer journalists in the US, Michael Lewis of www.frontrowsoccer.com and formerly of the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle newspaper, came on board as the US Soccer correspondent.
Our show format and memorable guests
Soccer is a Kick in the Grass has promoted soccer in the Rochester area for over 25 years by covering the 4 time USL Champions and 1999 US Open Cup winning Rochester Rhinos, the 3 time champion Western New York Flash (now the North Carolina Courage) and the current Rochester Lancers and Lady Lancers extensively, including interviewing many of the players and coaches on the teams. In addition, a portion of every show is devoted to US Soccer and the world’s game.
Soccer is a Kick in the Grass has had many of the stars of North American soccer as guests, including:
Where you can hear our show
Soccer is a Kick in the Grass is heard every Monday at 6:30 pm ET week over the radio airwaves on WYSL 1040 AM/92.1 FM/95.5 FM in the Rochester area, in addition to the station's website www.wysl1040.com and other online platforms like TuneIn. You can hear the live broadcast on the front page of our website and we will have our archive of past shows up on our new website soon!
Our flagship station, WYSL!
WYSL celebrates 31 years of success, with a long, long list of firsts: the first all-news format, first comprehensive partnership with a local TV news product, first with a long list of fabled national talk radio hosts, first commercial station to stream 24-7 on the worldwide web, first AM station to crank up a new high-power signal in Upstate New York in over 50 years, and on, and on and on!
WYSL started out as a 500-watt daytime-only station on 1030 kHz in January 1987, offering ABC’s TalkRadio and big band music in morning drive primarily serving Rochester’s southern suburbs and Livingston County. Ten years later, in late 1997, WYSL moved one channel up the dial from 1030 to 1040 kHz and started 24-hour broadcasts from a new $250,000 facility at its existing studio, office and transmitting complex on South Lima Road in the Town of Livonia, Livingston County.
WYSL scored another “first” in 2000 as the station became the first radio station in Rochester to simulcast 24-7 with streaming audio on the worldwide web, providing global coverage to listeners.
At this juncture, professional and collegiate sports became a big part of WYSL programming, and 1040 has carried pro soccer (including the Rochester Rhinos for many years), baseball, hockey, arena football, and indoor and outdoor lacrosse as well as collegiate sports for the University of Rochester, Roberts Wesleyan College, SUNY Geneseo, St. John Fisher College and Nazareth College.
In 2004, WYSL applied to increase daytime transmitting power to 20,000 watts, and the FCC granted our application in April 2005. October 2006 saw the debut of NewsPower 1040 – the first new high-power AM facility to come online in the region in over 50 years.
In January 2010, WYSL debuted its FM simulcast serving Monroe County on 92.1, from an all-new transmitter site on Pinnacle Hill in Brighton. And brand-new local service to the western suburbs debuted in September 2018 with WYSL FM 95.5 located in Spencerport. “FM 95.5 West” provides city-grade signal to Spencerport, North Greece, Hilton, Parma, Brockport, Gates, Chili and more.
Whatever the future brings – you can always depend on The WYSL Stations -20,000 watt AM 1040, FM 92.1 and FM 95.5 West, the market leader in programming innovation, quality and commitment to local radio!