Paying Homage Well Merited
Bethlehem Steel soccer men are to be feted on two occasions next week. On Tuesday night they will be the guests of the West Side Businessmenís Association, now known as the L. V. Business Association, and on Wednesday the guests of the Rotary Club. It will be homage well merited for their winning the National Challenge Cup soccer competition, the highest laurels to be attained in American soccer. It is hoped that at such occasions as these, efforts will be made to stimulate a bit more interest in the sport and add encouragement by greater attendance on the soccer field.
Transferring the Club Elsewhere
Several weeks ago, chatter heard along the sidelines during the progress of a game involving the Bethlehem Steel team as one of the principals, Newark fans apparently took it for granted that next season Bethlehem would be sporting the colors of the Jersey club. Where the rumor originated no one knows. However, gossip was pretty general that Newark soccer leaders were prepared to negotiate and make a luring offer for the transfer of the Bethlehem club. The local management denied all knowledge of such negotiations. However, there is usually a basis for such talk, greatly exaggerated no doubt by passing from mouth to mouth, but nevertheless worthy of consideration at this end. Soccer is the only major sport competed in the States outside of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Comparatively it is on the plane with big league baseball. Attendances at local games have not been commensurate with the brand of soccer played, so that it is little wonder that with scarcely a corporalís guard enlisted as loyals in Bethlehem, other cities are taking of transferring the club.
What Other Clubs Think
It must be galling to the management of the local club to have the best team in the country but the smallest gate in big top soccer. Other clubs hesitate to come here simply because the gate barely covers the expense. On the other hand, all clubs in the league clamor for Bethlehem because the club is the best drawing card they can secure. A quite recent illustration of the attitude of other clubs in regards to coming to Bethlehem was exemplified at a league meeting, when the home-and-home game basis was adopted for the semi-final and final round of the American Soccer League cup competition. The New York Giants were ordered to come to Bethlehem for a Saturday game and flatly refused on the ground that the share of the gate would not cover expenses. The Giant management threatened to scratch unless the game was played elsewhere, suggesting Philadelphia or Brooklyn, and if played here, demanded that the Bethlehem management post a guarantee to cover the trip . Imagine a team holding out in a semi-final cup competition on account of the game. It certainly is a sorry state of affairs and reflects on the support given the club in this city. The local club will give the guarantee, appreciating the support of the few loyals. If on no other occasion, this should be the one, in which sportsmen should rally and on the afternoon of May 15 pack the Steel field as has not been the case in recent years. If for no other reason, tat of civic pride should be an incentive to send the New Yorkers back home after the game with a different opinion of the loyalty and support to the champion soccer team in the United States.