The Joliet, Ill., soccer team left the New Merchants Hotel this afternoon for the athletic field confident that they would stop the winning stride of the Bethlehem Steel Co. team. Both teams have been exceptionally successful during the season and the rivalry that has developed between the Western champions and the Steel Workers is anything but good natured.
Peter J. Peel, president of the United States Football Association and interested in the Joliet, Ill., team, was expected here today. Word, however, was received by F. W. Cahill, secretary of the U.S.F.C this morning stating that Mr. Peel would be unable to get here because of urgent business that turned up over night that required his personal attention.
This announcement was received with regret by "Billy" Sheridan, manager of the Steel Workers, and the members of the team. Peel is one of the greatest soccer enthusiasts in the country and last year made a vow that Joliet, Ill., club would have players on the team this year who would stop the winning stride of the Steel Workers. The Steel Workers, realizing that the make-up of the visitors is a collection of the greatest players in the West, are confident that they can hold their own. All the local players were in the best of condition this morning. It was feared that Fleming, who during the early part of the week was indisposed, suffering with a severe cold, would be unable to play. He has fully recovered and was in the line-up this afternoon. Duncan, who was suffering with an injury the last three weeks, has also recovered and was back at this old position, goal tender, this afternoon.
Included among the spectators was a large delegation of New York and Philadelphia fans.
Ben. Govier, the Honus Wagner of soccer and one of the greatest soccer enthusiasts in the country came on from Chicago to witness the game. Govier is a great admirer of the Joliet, Ill., aggregation and in renewing acquaintances with several Eastern fans predicted that the Western team would return victorious. Govier has played soccer probably long than any other player in the country. He has been actively identified with the game for the past 25 years, having played with the Pullman team and a number of other strong organizations in Illinois.