While the Brooklyn management is fuming and storming over the refusal of the Bethlehem Steel Soccer management in waiving the right to play at home in preference to a replay on neutral grounds in the Metropolitan District, the Steelmen are going quietly about their business making preparation for the invasion of Brooklyn here on Saturday for the second round National cup replay.
Although the Brooklyn team has relented somewhat in its attitude since last Sunday and has withdrawn the threat to forfeit rather than appear on the home grounds of the Bethlehem club, the relations continue strained, as is evident by the recent remark made by Nat Agar, who is quoted as stating that "never again will his club enter a club competition in which Bethlehem is involved."
Why the rival management should express such a sentiment when by the rule of cup tie play it is distinctly understood that in the event of a tie game the replay is to go to the grounds of the visiting club is hard to conceive. The local management is merely standing on its rights and completely ignored the possibility of greater financial remuneration if the game were played elsewhere. On the other hand it seems as though the motive behind the attitude of the Brooklyn management is inspired by a monetary consideration.
The grounds have been completely cleared of snow. The Steelmen enjoy the distinction of having won more U. S. F. A. cup championships than any other major club in the country and although deprived of a break in the draw believe that the break they received in getting the replay on the home ground gives them an excellent opportunity of capturing the crown again this year.
The officials who will handle the game are the same who performed in the game at Brooklyn last Sunday. These include George Lambie of Boston, who will referee. The linesmen, Hayes, of Jersey City, and Connathin, of Bayonne, N. J., are both of the Metropolitan district. The U. S. F. A. delegate in charge of the games will be W. Hollywood.
The Bethlehem management has intimated that there will be few if any changes in the lineup of the team which faced Brooklyn in the one goal draw last Sunday.
In that event Archie Stark will be at center forward and play his first game at home in four weeks. Stark returned to the lineup last Sunday after being laid up with injury for two weeks. In that game he seemed none the worse for the long layoff and should be at his best here on Saturday.
The return of Stark to his old position at center forward resulted in another rearrangement of the forward line. Tom Gillespie, who is quite capable as a center but better it is believed as an outside wing will play in the latter position while Jaap, usually outside right when Gillespie is in center, will shift to inside right . The management is in hopes that Granger will be available and if the veteran is fit he will be assigned to inside left, paired off with Malcolm Goldie.
The fullback position seem to be causing the most concern at the present time. McMeekin is about the only regular back who is fit for a hard game and is certain to be seen at his regular position on the left side. George McDonald, right halfback, who has served in the breech in more than one game this season and served well, will probably be McMeekin's playmate.
With this shift the halfback line should not suffer for W. Reid, who was nursing an injured leg, seems to have thoroughly recovered and in paying McDonald's position at right half will with the veterans MacGregor and Carnihan complete the halfback line. Dave Edwards will complete the defense by doing duty in goal.