First Step Toward National Title
Plans similar to those waged by the two major baseball leagues to decide the diamond supremacy will be employed for the first time this year in soccer circles through the cup tie competition arranged by the American Soccer League and which swings into action with the games scheduled over the coming weekend. Similar in that the competition will be confined exclusively among the professionals of the two leagues recognized as the strongest in the United States but differing somewhat in the elimination process. With baseball extended over a much longer season, supremacy in the respective league is decided by league competition. In soccer the representative club of the American League will be decided by the cup tie process which in a series of elimination in which one defeat is disastrous. St. Louis soccerites are scheduled for a shorter season and therefore the logical team to oppose the American League representative who will be decided by the league process. Bethlehem starts its cup campaigning at home on Saturday when Indiana Flooring comes here for the first round contest. With twelve teams in the circuit the series will be completed with four rounds.
What Cup Tie Means Many fans, especially the recent converts to soccer, are prone to realize why cup tie competitions should present spirited and greater competition than the regular league contests. One has but to consider the laurels at stake and the solution is readily forthcoming. In brief, the states for which the players compete in cup competition are vastly more paramount to those of league competition. In the latter it is the pennant and the laurels of being recognized as superior to all other league clubs. Naturally a winning team, and especially a pennant winner will profit materially in the receipts at the game. Cup tie competition is quite different in that the states are heavier and with the players themselves usually profiting financially. The competition also paves the path to compete against the winner of the sister circuit for recognition as National champions.
One Defeat and Out
One defeat is sufficient to eliminate and by losing out in the tournament the clubs suffer materially financially. The early rounds are profitable for fans cognizant of the laurels at stakes as an incentive realize that the playing will be spirited and such a player will never hesitate to spare himself. It is the ambition of every club to remain in the competition for the final and then snare victory in the closing round to become eligible for the series of two and maybe three games that are to follow. Why this ambition is inspired one can readily understand when as an illustration it is safe to predict that if Fall River and Bethlehem should happen to be the teams to clash in the final round and the game be played in the New England district a crowd of no less than 20,000 spectators would pay one smacker to see the battle. In the National cup competition the association cut in for about one-third of these receipts. However, the split of the gate in the American Soccer League is apportioned, it is understood, with the clubs receiving the major bulk of the gate and there is not one club in the league, it is believed, that would not share this success with the players by rewarding each with a substantial bonus. The money derived by the clubs surviving to the finals would in some districts be almost sufficient to cover all overhead expenses for the season. The inter-sectional series to follow is certain to draw an attendance of approximately fifty thousand fans, especially if it involves three games before the title winner is decided. That is why cup competition is heralded with keen delight by the fans for teams show no quarter and the battle of battles is a foregone conclusion.