The trophy for which Fall River F. C. and Boston F. C. will struggle in the final of the American Challenge Cup competition on Sunday at Mark Stadium, Tiverton, R. I., will be second to none ever donated for a soccer classic in the United States.
It is well that it might be the best trophy for it is being donated by the best friend the sport has in this country -- H. Edgar Lewis of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation, who is a vice president. Mr. Lewis is a quiet force for progress wherever he is. He was a soccer player himself some years ago and was the organizer of the first Bethlehem Steel eleven, successors of which -- always under Mr. Lewis' guidance -- have made that name and soccer famous throughout the country.
It was the far-seeing steel executive who visualized the possibility of this game and for the first time brought star players from Europe to show Americans just how the game was played in countries where crowds of 100,000 and 125,000 are not uncommon. The experiment was a success and Mr. Lewis continued the policy, other teams inducing the stars to join them until today all the leading teams are either dotted heavily or dominated by foreign stars.
Take the contenders in the cup final Sunday. Both of these clubs are predominantly foreign, with players who were famous or destined to be famous before they came to this country.
It is fitting that the trophy so generously donated should be awarded as a result of a game where all attendance records for soccer will be smashed into small pieces. Careful soccer men say there will be 20,000 paid admissions at least at a fee that was unthought of even as late as five years ago.
The American Soccer League Challenge Competition Cup is the gift of a sportsman of the first water who stands ready to go even further with soccer which he has loved as a player and a sponsor when his playing days were over.