A Remarkable Defense
While much is said about the scoring possibilities of a soccer team, fans quite often lose sight of the good work done by the defense. It is the same in football, where to the casual follower, the great work of the linemen both on the offenses and defense is overlooked. They fail to recognize that in victory it is the defensive play that is equally as important as the offensive. Statistics from the American Soccer League bring out emphatically that the great defense of the Bethlehem Steel team, disclosing that the champions have been scored against less than half the number of goals of their nearest competitors. The team is not leading in the number of goals scored, but it is readily understood why Bethlehem has been able to go through the season with a wining stride and not compelled to top the list in scoring goals. Statistics show that Bethlehem has scored 83 goals in 34 games. New Bedford tops the list with 103; New York Giants have 90; Fall River, 84, and then follows Bethlehem. But it is the number of goals scored against Bethlehem which is most impressive. In 34 games they have allowed only 2 goals, for an average of less than a goal per game. That is something to consider, since next in order domes Boston with 47 goals against, or nearly twice as many as Bethlehem. The numerals take a jump from then on, with Coats third with 57 against, and next is 96, the goals scored against Philadelphia. While forwards have been duly credited with their goal-scoring proclivities in winning games, soccer patrons must not lose sight of the fact that the defense played an important part.
The Individual Scoring
The statistics convey even more than the cold type set down. This is particularly true in the matter of individual scoring, showing that on some teams one man is relied on for scoring, while on others it is more equally distributed on the forward line. And of the two types of teams it is the latter that have been most successful and are highest in the league standing. Davy Brown, of the New York Giants, a brilliant player is topping the list in scoring with 42 goals to his cried, and yet the Giants are sixth in the league standing. There is no other Giant forward listed among the 18 highest scorers. In contrast, Tom Gillespie and Archie Stark are the high scorers for Bethlehem, the former with 23 and Stark with 22. This shows that the combined scoring possibilities of the Bethlehem team are greater than for the Giants. It is easy to cover one individual and to this assertion Brown will vouch when forced to play against "Bill" Carnihan, the Bethlehem captain. Carnihan certainly has the number of the brilliant forward and if statistics were further delved into, it would b e found that against Bethlehem, Brown's scoring has been less than against any other team. It is the well-balanced front line that is most feared -- one that presents a scoring threat in every player. Such a line has a tendency to widen the defense and present more openings to the net. Bethlehem, Boston, Fall River and New Bedford, the leading clubs in the circuit, do not rely on one individual for their scores. Each has two or more among the 18 highest and the effect of this is reflected in the standings of the teams.