A Step Nearer
Will Bethlehem's soccer team be a step nearer the National soccer championship at the conclusion of hostilities on Hawthorne Field, Brooklyn, on Sunday afternoon? Or will Newark create another flurry in soccerdom when they meet the defending champions? That is a question uppermost in the minds of Bethlehem customers who are somewhat in fear of the Jerseymen. The writer is stringing with Bethlehem, but is confident that the meeting with Newark will not be a pink tea. The Jerseymen are hitting on all six and inspire by their many recent successes will probably be one of the most dangerous opponents faced by Bethlehem this season. With their backs to the wall, ousted in the American Cup competition, a tail-ender in the league race but with a chance at the greatest soccer honors available in this country, the Skeeters can be expected to play with the same reckless abandon which brought them victories over Bethlehem, Brooklyn and Indiana Flooring in recent games.
Two Distinct Types
Critics refer to the two distinct types of play employed by the respective teams. Bethlehem with its short passing game, relying on the intricacies of the dribbling art to gain their end, and Newark, the aggressive, rushing type, driving the ball deep into the opponent's territory in hopes of a forward somewhere in the vicinity for a parting shot. This variety of game is extremely dangerous, particularly so if the so-called breaks are favoring. One thing favoring Bethlehem will be the irregulation size soccer pitch.
Ground Conditions Important
On a dry and fast pitch Bethlehem will be seen at its best, for it is on such a field that ball control is most perfect and it is ball control wherein lies Bethlehem's greatest strength. On the other hand, a heavy, soggy field will be made to order for the Jerseymen. These kick and rush type of players, combining speed and long passes, are not so keen on ball control or the short passing game. A glaring illustration of the two types of teams was witnessed in the first round against Philadelphia when only after 60 minutes of play was Bethlehem successful in notching the first goal. The game was played mostly in the rain and on a bumpy field. Under these conditions the Steelmen were unable to get organized until the belated rally in the second half. Newark is going to be dangerous, but if Bethlehem plays the game it is capable of playing and adapts itself to the conditions there should be but one result, and that a victory for the Steelmen.
Plenty at Stake
While primarily it is the soccer championship of the United States which is the aim of all big league teams, the financial returns is also a matter to be considered. The semi-final, Eastern final and then the clash of the sectional finalists for the National title bring out the biggest attendance of the season. With the return of these games, team managments can utilize their money end to a good advantage.