Just enough training to keep the players on edge is the routine for the Bethlehem Steel soccer team this week in priming for the grand final of the National Challenge Cup competition which takes place at Ebbetts Field, Brooklyn, non Sunday afternoon, with the Ben Millers, of St. Louis, the western finalists, as the contenders. While confidence prevails in the Bethlehem camp, players and management are not treating the game lightly, and every effort will be made to field the best team and a club in good physical condition.
Soccer's national championship game at Ebbett's Field, Brooklyn, N. Y., on Sunday will bring together teams of entirely opposite characteristics.
The Ben Miller F. C., of St. Louis, which is representing the West in this classic of the year, is composed entirely of native-born Americans, who play what is styled the American game.
The Bethlehem Steel F. C., standard bearers of the East, and four-time holders of national honors, comprise in toto players who were born in foreign lands, where most of them won t heir spurs before coming here. They are exemplars of a style of game prevailing abroad which has so endeared itself to the football world as to attract crowds that even our college football games have not been able to do, so far, by a goodly margin.
The American style of game, as practiced by the St. Louis lads, requires speed and stamina of the first order. The management of the Ben Millers, therefore, gathered together a team of young "greyhounds."
Not one of the players has had a bit of football experience outside of St. Louis elevens. The average age of the regular players is slightly more than 21 years, but if the average were struck with the entire squad included, it would be much lower.
One of the important players is Tal Mulroy, an eighteen-year-old high school boy, who plays outside left wing. This lad has been playing with the Millers since he was fifteen. Besides being adept at the American style of play, he is a great dribbler of the ball after the fashion of the European players. Benny Nash, who plays inside to Mulroy, on the wing, is only twenty years old. "Ebbie" Dunn, outside right, and George Bollam, inside right, are 21 and 23 respectively. With Jimmy Dunn, the center forward, who is 28, the attacking line averages only 22 years.