Bethlehem May Lose Its Soccer Team
According to reports supposed to emanate from Bethlehem, this city may shortly be minus a star athletic aggregation if the plans now under way by Thomas W. Cahill, of the United States Football Association, materialize. The lack of local support is said to be one of the reasons that the Bethlehem soccer management is considering making the change. All this is intimated in the comments, under the name of Levi Wilcox, appearing in the Philadelphia Inquirer this morning. In referring to the probable transfer he says:
"According to a report coming from Bethlehem, Pa., Secretary Thomas W. Cahill, of the United States Football Association, is formulating plans to organize a soccer league next season to take in the principal cities of the East. It is the intention of Mr. Cahill to have one strong team in this city, probably the Bethlehem Club, New York, Brooklyn, Harrison, N. J., Fall River and Pawtucket. That would make it a six-club circuit. Eight clubs, however, is the aim of the organizer with two more cities to be added according to the interest and backing when the franchises are handed out.
"This would place soccer football almost on the same plane as baseball in the East insofar that each city would have a strong team with home attractions that would rival anything in the country. It is reported the Bethlehem has long been seriously contemplating making a change from their home loam owing to the team not being supported. At some of the league matches played at Bethlehem during the last few years, expenses to the visiting teams have not been forthcoming from the gate receipts.
"Should Mr. Cahill's plans materialize a circuit comprised of the above cities should prove a success. This city would support a first class team. In the days of the Hibernians, Thistles, British-Americans and Albions it was nothing unusual to have 2,000 attend the games even in mid-winter. And with the game having made wonderful progress since that time there is every reason to believe that with such a well-known team as Bethlehem representing Philadelphia and playing at one of the ball parks it would revive interest to such an extent that it would prove a paying proposition form every viewpoint.
"It is necessary that something on a scale should be adopted to create interest in the game in this city. With the exception of about four teams in the Allied League, it is seldom that a close contest is witnessed, where the players have more than a passing knowledge of the finer points of the game. And even such teams as the Hibernians, Marshall E. Smith, Dobson and the Wanderers display little team work. That is why the game has lost some of its finesse from a playing standpoint of other days.
"In the hey day of the Pennsylvania League we had such well known players as the Steeles, Pollocks, Greens, Coopers, Goulds, Wilsons, Pikes, Youngs, Campbells, McDonalds, Stevensons, Jenkins, Danks, Kerrs, Hicklings, Andersons, and others, team work and combination play, where the ball traveled like clock work from head and toe and varied as occasion required with dribbling. Those were the days when the game flourished because science and headwork predominated instead of the kick and rush style of play in vogue today, which is so uninteresting."
Suggested Transfer a Wild Dream
That the Bethlehem management has not even considered the transfer of the Bethlehem team, as intimated by Mr. Wilcox, was learned from one of the officials of the club this morning and the suggestion was characterized as "another wild dream of Mr. Cahill." Since Mr. Cahill has announced his resignation as an officer of the United States Football Association many rumors as to his future endeavors have been prevalent, one of which was that he proposed to form a league of soccer clubs to play in the parks of the big league baseball clubs at the close of the season for the diamond sport. The one referred to by Mr. Wilcox in this morning's issue of the Inquirer is believed to be his latest dream and one that surely will not materialize if Bethlehem is concerned. Together with these wild rumors is the report that the feeling existing between Mr. Cahill and a number of clubs is not any too friendly, the Bethlehem club excluded, and that recent pressure may have played a part in tendering his resignation. Of course, this is merely hearsay but as the old saying goes, "where there is smoke, there is fire." Mr. Cahill no doubt is determined to keep active in soccer circles and is manipulating his ideas along various lines in hopes of effecting an organization over which he can preside. When informed of his plans, with Bethlehem mentioned as one of the clubs to fit into the idea, local officials expressed keen surprise at the announcement and let it be known that other than hearing talk of such a plan, the proposition had not even been considered here, nor would be. "It's a wild suggestion with absolutely nothing to it," was the response of the secretary of the Steel Workers. Manager Sheridan expressed similar surprise when informed of the article and responded with: "I have not heard anything to that effect and am very much in doubt if the matter was even considered. It sounds to me like one of Cahill's dreams and his last move in trying to effect an organization. However, it's advisable to get in touch with the officers of the clubs to get authoritative and definitive news."
Bethlehem Players Help Beat Robins
One of the big upsets to soccer circles occurred yesterday when the supposed invincible Robins Dry Docks eleven, conquerors of Bethlehem in the American Cup class, and the Erie F. C., in the National Cup classic, were defeated by the latter team at Harrison, N. J., by the score of 3 goals to 0. The Eries introduced into their lineup a new center forward by the name of Lappin, conceded to be one of the best forwards in the game. The Eries also had a new man in their lineup in Dick Spaulding, who at the beginning of the season was signed by Bethlehem and later released to play with the Eries because there was no vacancy among the Bethlehem backs. Spaulding, according to accounts, played a strong game, despite the fact that he gave away a penalty kick. This was one of two penalty kicks awarded to the Robins but no damage resulted.
Surprised at Bethlehem's Defeat
"It's a great mystery how Robins ever defeated Bethlehem in the American Cup," were the comments of Hugh Magee, manager of the New York F. C., at the close of the game here on Saturday. Mr. Magee apparently prided himself on having one of the best soccer teams in the East and was prompted in making the above remarks after seeing the artistic lacing his club received. After the game he singled our Mr. Lewis and showered the secretary with flowery comments on the showing of the club.