Influx of Soccer Players
The influx of 'old country' association football players to this country since the opening of the 1922-23 soccer season has been more marked than in any previous season in the history of the game in this country. Stars of both first and second division teams of the English and Scottish leagues have come to the United States with such regularity that agents of leading professional soccer clubs of the East have been meeting the big English steamships on each arrival and taking off players of whose coming they have learned from representatives in England and Scotland, or otherwise. Bethlehem Steel F. C. and Brooklyn Wanderers have been prominent in the competition to sign star kickers from abroad even before they set foot on American soil. On occasions one club or the other has been in touch by wireless with a prized player as the ship nears our shores and has made sure of his signing, ere an agent of the competitive club could reach him personally. In addition to these two American Soccer League teams, New York Soccer Club, Fall River F. C. and the Rising Star F. C. of Detroit have been among clubs landing stars from overseas in recent months. The Bethlehem team, however, is made up almost completely of players who have come over from the British Isles sine the close of the last soccer season. The increased public interest in soccer in the United States and the consequent paying of substantial sums to star professional players has been the lure to the 'old country' stars and unsatisfactory labor conditions in England and Scotland have contributed to the restlessness of scores of the crack footballers over there. Two of the most recent arrivals of first importance are Alex Purdie, who played for Hamilton against Glasgow Celtic in the third round of the Scottish Cup proper, last season, Hamilton winning 3-1,and who has signed a professional form for the Rising Stars of Detroit; and John Surgener, goalkeeper for Queens Park Rangers and Queens Park Strollers. Nat Agar landed Surgener for the Brooklyn Wanderers; the Bethlehem management was also after him. A recent acquisition to the Bethlehem team is Tommy Maxwell, late of Dumferline, Andy Wilson, leading scorer of the English League last season and star of the All-Scots who toured Canada and the eastern United States after the end of the present season. HE is again with Middleboro, at present in seventh place in the first division English League. The foreign footballers are admitted to the country as 'artists' under an Immigration Bureau ruling which classes them with musicians, actors and others entering the country to display special accomplishments."