The Major Sports Attraction
Bethlehem will sponsor one major sports attraction over the weekend and the contest should prove all that the word "major" implies. Out on Lehigh field, the former playgrounds of the Bethlehem Steel Co. and the home loam of the Bethlehem Steel Soccer Club, the hostilities will be waged which in the realms of soccer will be listed as the most important contest to be presented on the home grounds this season. Games have been played and others are yet to be played before the curtain drops on the booting sport but not any which carries with it the significance of the clash on the books for Saturday afternoon. The opponent of the Steelmen, as is well known, will be the Brooklyn Wanderers, a team that tried hard to K. O. the Steelmen in the National cup tie competition on the Brooklyn field last Sunday and came near doing it after two hours of battling, ending in a one-goal deadlock. "Give us a cup game!" has been the cry of soccer boosters, many of whom have formed opinions as to how the draw is made. They are getting a cup game but not through the graces of the powers that be nor through the fortune of the draw, but simply because in drawing the code to govern U. S. F. A. cup ties there is a clause that provides that in the event of a draw the replay shall take place on the home grounds of the visiting team. Bethlehem fans are getting a cup tie game and in the most important soccer competition in the country. An added luring incentive to create and stimulate interest is the fact that before conceding to the dictates of the cup committee the attitude of the visitors was quite hostile in regards to coming to Bethlehem. If Bethlehem survives the second round the chances of annexing another National cup title looms bright. To do so, however the team will need the moral support of all boosters and this can be attributed by their presence on the soccer field on Sunday afternoon.
There are but two cup competitions in progress at the present time. The one sponsored by the U. S. F. A. and recognized as the most important of all competition. Next in order is the competition to which only the pro teams of the American Soccer League are eligible and which is competed for the H. Edgar Lewis trophy. Bethlehem Steel has thus far survived in both. However, it would seem that chances loom brightest in the U. S. F. A. tilt in which the teams involved are conspicuous by the absence of some of the recognized stronger teams. This is particularly true of those whose hunting grounds are located in the New England district. Boston is out of the picture, being eliminated by Fall River, and with the latter the only other New England survivor is J & P Coats. These two teams meet in the semi-final. Four teams are still engaged in the Metropolitan district and of these the winner of the Bethlehem-Brooklyn tilt here on Saturday afternoon and the winner of the New York National vs. New York Giants game in New York on Sunday will clash in the Metropolitan bracket of the Eastern semi-final. By this layout it is readily seen that Bethlehem's chances, providing a victory is won over Brooklyn here on Sunday, are exceptionally good to cop. Fall River is favored to beat Coats and if the Marksmen do come through and by chance Bethlehem should survive in the other bracket, the odds would probably be in favor of Bethlehem by virtue of its league record in games against Fall River in which the Steelmen defeated Fall River three times and drew in the fourth game.
Contrast in Opposition
In contrast to the survivors of the National cup are the more formidable opponents who still have a chance at the Lewis trophy . In the New England sector the teams still in the race are Fall River, Boston, Providence and New Bedford. The latter have one more game to play to decide the issue. In the other bracket it will be either the Giants or Newark to meet Bethlehem for Brooklyn was bowled out of the running by Boston in the opening round. Incidentally the Newark-Giant game is a replay. In analyzing the situation it is probably well for Bethlehem to take heed for its chances ever were bright to cop the blue ribbon soccer classics, the opportunity is presented in the two campaigns now in progress.