How the Game Compares
In the opinion of many local enthusiasts, soccer in the United States is on a par with that played in Europe. There are just as many probably who will discredit this theory and as a result it is an interesting topic for discussion. Those of the opinion that the game of the American clubs is on a par with the foreign product will concede that there are few exceptions, but so far that the sport in America must now be given recognition as ranking with the best played anywhere. It is true that the American clubs have left nothing undone to attract the big league European players to this country and have succeeded fairly well. This is seen in scanning the roster of the American League clubs, every one of which can produce one or more celebrities from across the pond. However, the opinion of those playing the American game on a par with that of their European brethren is backed up by substantial argument in which Alec Jackson is singled out as the individual in these discussions.
Anent the Flashy Forward
Alec Jackson came to America with his brother, Walter, when still in his teens. It was Walter that had ascended to the heights of his career and was ranked as one of Europe's topnotchers. Alec, the younger bother, had loads of theory and had established a thorough knowledge of the rudiments of the sport, but at that time had not yet perfected his game. As a member of the Bethlehem Steel F. C., Alec was given a taste of the rushing, dashing style employed in the game in this country and this combined with his scientific knowledge and execution of the more intricate plays, soon placed him in a class by himself as an inside forward. The time spent as a member of the Steel Workers reflects glowingly on the brand of soccer in this country, for shortly upon his return to Scotland he was soon heralded as the greatest sensation in European football. And that tribute was not bestowed for any brief flash of superior form, as he has consistently continued to rank with the greatest, and probably in today the most talked of soccer player in the game. The practice and experience he needed might readily be said to have been received in America.
Critics Laud Former Steel Worker
Scarcely a week goes by but some athletic publication of England or Scotland comments on Alec as a player. Probably one of the most glowing tributes and one that indirectly reflects on the brand of soccer dispensed in America, is the following which appeared in a recent issue of Athletic New:
"Huddersfield Town might have won easily if they had had ten Jacksons, for he was ever on the ball and always doing something with it. When Huddersfield Town were at full strength he was beating Vizard (the opposing outside left) at Hudderfield corner flag, and yet never out of position at outside right. He became an inside right, a center forward, in fact, everything that was defensive and everything that was attack. Jackson was the one man not overwhelmed by the brilliant Bolton Wanderers in a great game."
Certainly if they can go back home and captivate the critics of the sport the way Jackson did, there must be something to the game in America. Perhaps some time in the near future a selection of players on American teams or some American club intact will arrange for another international tour.