The Cup Tie
If for no other reason, sentiment should inspire a determined effort of the Bethlehem Steel Soccer Club to win in the American Soccer League cup tie, which wings into action with the first round on Saturday and Sunday. The donor of the trophy for which t he team will compete is H. E. Lewis, of this city; it has been offered in competition for the last several years. The competition, which including the early rounds, is played on a home and home basis and the survivor decided on the goal-scoring average. The Steelmen in their initial round will tackle the New York Nationals, playing the first game on the home grounds on Saturday and then making a flying visit to New York to entertain Gotham soccer fans at the Polo Grounds on Sunday. Boston is the holder of the Lewis cup and is drawn to oppose the Brooklyn Wanderers in the initial round. Incidentally it was these two clubs that met in the final with Boston capturing the honors.
Lest the Cash Customers Forget
The cup ties are competitions in which t he local team management has little to say. The regulations are provided for by a cup committee. For that reason the Steelmen will oppose the Giants on the home lot on Saturday afternoon at a slightly increased price of admission. Instead of 50 cents, the league has increased the price to 75 cents. This slight increase to prevail in all cup games will hardly evoke any hardship on the regulars who have been boosters for soccer in Bethlehem. The entire proceeds are divided equally between the participating clubs after paying a special assessment to the league. Cup ties usually are a means of creating additional revenue and especially to clubs that are not fortunately paled in drawing large home crowds. That Bethlehem is one of the latter clubs is no secret, although there has been a slight increase in the average attendance this season. To operate a major league soccer team is quite expensive and to help the project along cup ties should make an alluring appeal to all sportsmen. Philadelphia was unable to support a major league soccer club. Yet Philadelphia fans turned out close to 3,000 strong last Saturday afternoon to see the Steelmen defeat the Centennial F. C. in the first round of the National cup competition. A similar attendance on the home field on Saturday afternoon would help things along materially.
Cup Ties Somewhat Different
Even the casual layman or the most lukewarm soccer fan cannot help but get a thrill in witnessing a cup tie. This assertion may sound to many like a lot of bunk and for that reason it is suggested a visit to the field to be either convinced or disappointed. Cup ties kill the argument that there is not enough personal contact and too much tip tap to produce a kick. The rush and kick style is today a strong contributory asset to a successful team with, of course, a sprinkling of he more scientific manipulation of the intricacies of passing, ball control and swerving shots. Cup ties are somewhat different from the usual run of league games, the latter competed with the understanding that if defeated today the setback can be avenged in one of the remaining three clashes. Perhaps determination and aggressiveness are not as pronounced. But the cup tie brings out all that there is in the player. He gives his all with a determination characteristic of reckless abandon to earn the victory; gives and takes without asking any quarter. A league championship is something of importance but a cup tie title is most cherished. It provides no subsequent opportunity to come back and avenge a setback but one defeat means out, and out it is. New Bedford, as an illustration, a team deadlocked with Bethlehem for the runner-up position in the first half of the American Soccer League championship, was defeated by Coats, a recognized weaker combination, and as a result New Bedford is through insofar as competition in the blue ribbon classic is concerned.