Eries Again Vanquish Bethlehem
The defeat of the Bethlehem soccerites at the hands of the Erie F. C., at Harrison, N. J., yesterday afternoon came as a surprise to local adherents. In fact, it was hoped that the Steel Workers would avenge their elimination from the National Cup competition, which feat was accomplished by the Eries in an early season game. The defeat yesterday afternoon was the first experienced by the Steel Workers since the victory of the Robins Dry Dock eleven in an American Cup game on the Bethlehem Steel field several weeks ago. Fans gathered at the Erie game were under the impression that the contest was to be a National League affair. However, before Bethlehem left for Harrison, it was understood that the game was to be an exhibition contest, although there is one more National League game pending between these two clubs. This game is scheduled for a home contest but it is more than likely that it will be played on the Eries' grounds. Such a transfer, it is believed, is optional with the Bethlehem Steel management who at present is considering the transfer in view of the gallery attracted at Harrison, N. J. Should the transfer be negotiated, no one could hate the management for taking that game away from this district. Local fans are lukewarm to soccer while the appearance of the Bethlehem team in the New Jersey district usually creates a furor among 7,000 spectators. It is more than likely that this number would be equaled if not bettered in another meeting while the best the game would draw on the home field would hardly total more than three or four hundred.
Get Acquainted and Then Enjoy the Sport
Continual ding-donging on the sporting inclined to get acquainted with soccer and then relish the sport with the same enthusiasm evoked over boxing, football and many other sports, has apparently had little effects. For some reason or other, the game is favorably received by only a certain crowd and it has been noticed on frequent visits to the Bethlehem Steel field that it is usually the same crowd that turns out for the games. Numerous arguments have been advanced relative to the attitude toward soccer, none of which, however, is at all merited. The whole trouble seems to be that there are very few among the local fans who are familiar with the game and if they would take the trouble to get acquainted they would find that the sport is real lively after all. Bethlehem is recognized as being among the foundations in establishing the sport in this country, and a stepping stone from which soccer extended in rapid strides. The city has turned out championship teams time and again but have been unsuccessful in stimulating interest and enthusiasm. As a popular sport, Allentown now threatens to outdo Bethlehem in a matter of attendance, even though the sport is just being revived in that city this season and is carrying on a schedule with teams that are still in their infancy and much inferior to the minor clubs of Bethlehem. The interest manifest is significant in the little press dispatch picked up from one of the exchanges, which reads:
"If the crowds that saw the three soccer games in this city over Saturday and yesterday can be taken as a criterion, then the new City Soccer League is an assured success. The sidelines of all three games were packed with the lovers of the ancient Scottish game."
Too bad such conditions cannot prevail here where the brand of soccer dispensed is second to none in the country.