The Championship Grind
Bethlehem Steel takes the first turn in the championship grind for National soccer supremacy against the Philadelphia F. C., on the latter's field this afternoon. Bethlehem opens the first round in the competition in which it is the defending champion with a record of 26 victories, six tie games and five defeats in league competition, and by virtue of this excellent showing is the hot favorite. The consistency of the Bethlehem machine this year is unrivaled. Bethlehem has had good teams in the past, but it is doubtful if any of them, including the great teams of yesteryear, have displayed the wining consistency of the present aggregation. Then, too, it must be remembered that competition in present day soccer is more widely distributed and opposition strong all around. On paper Bethlehem figures to win the opening round game this afternoon. In fact, if statistics are a criterion of the final outcome, the Steelmen will add another National title. No team in the country has produced a record to equal that of Bethlehem, and it is believed that insofar as the major aggregations are concerned, it will be a long time before another team can crash through the American Soccer League season with so few defeats.
Remembering Disston of Old
Once upon a time Philadelphia's representative soccer aggregation was Disston, and while this clan of booters failed to compare with the personnel of the Bethlehem machine, nevertheless the Quaker saw-makers were always threatening Bethlehem. Not so much on the home grounds of the Steelmen as in the Quaker City. Then as well as now the most cherished victory for any team in the country was a win over the Bethlehem outfit and usually this opposition played as if "possessed" and really better than they know how. Taking players for player, the present Philadelphia personnel, it might be said, is no comparison with the Bethlehem team. Yet, strange as it may seem, Bethlehem always has a battle on its hands when playing in Philadelphia. As an illustration one has to refer only to a game played in the town of William Penn on Thanksgiving Day, when then Steelmen won out by a one-goal margin.