That ever influence is being brought to bear to transfer the second round National Cup tie game from Bethlehem to some other grounds is apparent by the overtures already made to the local management to play elsewhere. These influences, it is believed, are agitated by Nat Agar, owner of the Brooklyn Wanderers, who after the draw game at Brooklyn last Sunday, threatened to forfeit rather than play in Bethlehem.
Mr. Agar has until tomorrow morning to make good his threat. The rules of cup competition are emphatic in stating that to scratch a team from cup competition, the management of the team scratching must notify the opponent no less than five days before the scheduled time for the replay. In that event the time limit for Mr. Agar expires at midnight.
There is no penalty of a heavy fine in the event of scratching a team. However, the rule in this respect specifies that in the event of scratching a team without a "satisfactory reason," the club so doing shall be barred from National cup competition the following year. Financial conditions can hardly be accepted as a "satisfactory reason" and rather than be deprived of entering the cup competition next year, it is believed that Mr. Agar will relent in his attitude and Bethlehem fans will witness the first National cup tie game in Bethlehem since the season 1923.
Flattering overtures have been made to the Bethlehem management to play the replay elsewhere than in the Steel City with the financial remuneration by doing so stressed. Executives of the cup committee have entered the field to take the game away from the home grounds, suggesting that the contest be played on Polo Grounds next Saturday afternoon. The purpose, it is stated, is to test the drawing power of the Polo Grounds with two strange teams since it is certain that the Stoneham park will be given consideration for the Eastern semi-final, the Eastern final and the National final.
While the patronage in Bethlehem has been considerably small in contrast to that in other cities in the loop, nevertheless, the local management feels that it is obligated to the several hundred loyals who contribute their mite to keep major league soccer in Bethlehem.
The attitude of the Bethlehem management, relative to transferring the game where it is practically the same as it was when approached in this respect immediately after the two hour one goal draw in Brooklyn on Sunday. And that is that the game will be played in Bethlehem. In spite of the hostile attitude displayed by the Brooklyn management of the local club offered a quite liberal guarantee to have Brooklyn come here. This was not necessary for the home team is obligated to pay only the actual expenses and when these are deducted from the gate receipts the balances is shared between the two clubs on an equal basis.
It has even been suggested that in the event of refusing to transfer the game to a grounds in New York, that it might probably be played in Philadelphia.
This gives rise to the question, why play the replay on a neutral grounds when Bethlehem is entitled to play on home loam? Brooklyn had its fling against the Steelmen on the home grounds in Brooklyn and benefited by the advantages of laying on home loam. That there is an advantage there is no doubt for players are more familiar with the grounds and surroundings when at home than they are on the road. Why then should Bethlehem Steel be deprived of this advantage.
There are greater laurels at state than to survive the second round of the National cup competition. What financial reverses are incurred by playing at home will probably be made up if the Steelmen survive the second round and are then eligible for the semi-final. For after all it is the two final rounds played on neutral grounds that present the most alluring appeal.