At Last, a Cup Game
Bethlehem soccer fans will have the opportunity of witnessing a cup game next Saturday, most likely, and the opponent of the Steelmen will be no less than the formidable aggregation, the Brooklyn Wanderers. Not through the fortune of the craw, but thanks to the one-goal deadlock resulting in the extra period game played on the Wanderers' field on Saturday. Cup games, as a rule, are not supposed to end in ties, but then there is a condition that makes such a result possible and that is rapidly falling darkness. After battling for two hours on the Brooklyn field on Sunday afternoon, Referee Lambee called quits when darkness threatened.
What It's All About
Some of the more recent converted soccer fans will have an opportunity of learning what a cup game is all about. They are usually fed up on league contests, where a defeat can be avenged by a later meeting, but have yet to witness their first cup tie tilt where one defeat eliminates. To these fans we would suggest that they do not miss this game by any means, for if it's thrills they seek, these games usually produce. The record of the two clubs discloses that the Wanderers have a thus far given as much as they have taken and forecasts a torrid battle.
Not Since 1923
The last National cup tie game played in Bethlehem, if remembered correctly, was on Christmas Day, 1923, against the New York Giants, and resulted in a tie. In the playoff, the Steelmen defeated the Giants on the latter's field by the close margin of 4 to 3. Brooklyn had its fling and failed to produce, and if playing on the home ground really is an advantage to a team, the Steelmen should enter the semi-final of this important cup contest a favorite. Since 1923 the National Cup craw has decreed that Bethlehem play all of its games away from home, leading many soccer fans to believe that things have not been entirely on the up and up and that while the draw is supposed to b e a lucky shot, nevertheless teams have been seeded. If the governing rules are rightly remembered, the book says that in case of a tie after extra time, the reply shall go to the field of the other foeman. And if that's that, they can't take the second replay against Brooklyn away from Bethlehem.
Officials in a Quandary
Types a metropolitan soccer scribe: "Soccer officials are faced with the task of trying to find dates to settle tie games in the Lewis Cup and National championship tourneys. The strange part of the whole thing is that the games are not supposed to end in ties, the referee being empowered to order overtime until a decision has been reached, but darkness has intervened in not a few cases. The Wanderers and Bethlehem Steel have a national tourney game to replay, the Giants and Nationals have to play their postponed title match and Bethlehem and New Bedford have to decide second place in the American League. When these games can be played is a mystery, for the next Saturday and Sunday have been taken by league fixtures and the future looks just as heavy."
A Gentle Reminder
For the enlightenment of the New York scribe, selecting dates for the cup replays is quite a simple matter, for if the rules in vogue in regards to cup replays are the same as they were , and there is every reason to believe they are, cup games receive preference over all the games. Therefore, allotting the dates for the cup replays and postponements is easy. The big mystery is how in the world the league executives are going to squeeze in a second half schedule, comprising as many games as the first half. And then, one still deeper -- when are the winning and runner-club of each half season going to meet in their round robin series to decide the league championship? Something is drastically wrong and unless the guess goes flooey, the powers that be are going to do some tall scratching before finis is written to the 1927-1928 soccer season. And that's not perhaps.
Dug the Hole, Now Jump
And the powers that be have no one but themselves to blame for the mess that seems inevitable. When this thing of arranging second half schedule was discussed, some of the club representatives wisely pointed out conditions such as are now being encountered. Snow and the possibility of postponements and replays, were the points stressed in favoring a shorter second half schedule. But these were overruled. It seems that the commercial phase was the influencing factor considered and quite apparently not the welfare of the league. And the success of the circuit is certain to get a blast if the league championship cannot be decided because of a late date. Furthermore, infringing on the baseball schedule is bound to detract materially from the interest.
The Fall of the Mighty
Boston may be the first half champion of the America Soccer League and may have a good chance of surviving in the Lewis Cup competition but the Bean Eaters' hopes of annexing the National championship for this season are blasted. Fall River served the K. O. option in this blue ribbon classic, tossing the Hubmen for a loss in their second round grapple on the home grounds of the Marksmen on Sunday afternoon. Fall River, pretty badly manhandled in the league competition, came to life long enough to defend its National title. Incidentally the Marksmen are also in the running for the Lewis trophy. Should Bethlehem and Fall River aspire to the final round of the National competition, chances would be pretty well in favor of the Steelmen. Semi-final and final rounds are played on neutral grounds so the Marksmen would have no advantage in that respect. And as it appears, the Steelmen seem to have the number of National champions, evident by the record of the four meetings in league competition.