The duties of Jock Ferguson are many. To draw his pay check as a member of the Bethlehem Steel F. C., the requirements call upon "Jock" to do everything from massaging the sinewy muscles of his high strung temperamental dribbling exponents, to cleating the boots adaptable for the different field conditions. And "Jock" is superstitious, as evidenced by the unnecessary labor he underwent to tote the shoe last all the way to Brooklyn and back again when there was no occasion. Advised of the conditions of the field, shoes were cleated accordingly, before the team entrained for New York. However, when "Jock" the veteran fullback with plenty of good soccer still in him, despite his number of years of active service, was packing his duds for the journey to New York when he spied the shoe last resting peacefully in a corner of the field house. Then came a thought. The she last had been with the club for every game in the cup competition. Could it be possible that to leave it home might "jinx" the players? "Jock" was undecided. Well, it just required a little extra effort to tote along the last, weighting something like ten or twelve pounds, and on second thought he dashed back into the field house and packed it in his grip. Perhaps the last did have its magic charm, for the Steelmen distinguished themselves by piling up the biggest and most one-sided score ever in a final of a National Challenge Cup competition. After the game someone suggested that "Jock" hang the last to his watch chain in bringing it home. However, with the cup won, the magic charm was lost, and the last was carefully deposited in the grip of William Highfield.
Must Be Bethlehem's Year
Recalling a remark made by "Bob" MacGregor, left halfback of the Bethlehem Steel soccer team, early in the season, he, too, was inclined to be a little superstitious, predicting that on the run of his career in big league soccer across the pond this was Bethlehem's year to cop the National title. "The first year in big league soccer abroad, the team was runner-up; the second year we were eliminated in an early round, but the third year we crashed through in the Scottish cup competition," caroled the enthusiastic MacGregor. "This is my third year as a member of the Bethlehem club," continued Robert. "My first year here we finished as contenders, the second year we were eliminated in an early round," calling attention, however, that it was the American League cup competition instead of the National in which the Steel Worker were not entered "and this is my third year and we are due to win the cup." And MacGregor was correct. The Bethlehem right halfback now sports a pair of medals, one a Scottish cup and the other a National championship medal.
Skill of Steelmen Excellent
With one exception, comments on the game in Brooklyn laud the skill of the Bethlehem Steel soccer team. The exception, therefore, is not taken serious, believing that the adverse criticism might have been influence by a partial attitude. Reference is made to the St. Louis team as "the worst representatives of the West ever sent East," and tends to belittle the skill displayed by the Steel Workers. Soccer has not deteriorated in the West, in our opinion. Rather we feel inclined to believe that on the comparison of the two teams in Brooklyn on Sunday afternoon, the development of the East has been just that more speedy and pronounced. It was simply a case of science and experience subduing youth and stamina. Opinion is practically unanimous that the game of the Bethlehem team was the best soccer ever witnessed in the Metropolis. And there were some well versed writers at the game. One adverse criticism can therefore be easily discounted.
No Comparison in Teams
When we say there was no real comparison between the two teams, we feel certain that the eighteen thousand or more spectators will agree. St. Louis did not "lay down" but as youngsters fought with an indomitable spirit and dash. However, against the more veteran aggregation of Steel Workers they were simply lost. They probably witnessed more real soccer than they had ever before competed against, and more than likely will profit by their experiences. "Dazed and baffled," describes the spirit of the Western aggregation. Eliminating the left wing of Mulroy and Nash and throwing with this duo Tracey, center half back, the Westerners would have been a complete disappointment. It is probable that advance notices of the dazzling speed and staying qualities of the Western club led patrons to expect too much. As "greyhounds," a sobriquet generally used in referring to the St. Louisans, the title did an injustice to the lightning speed of this specie of canine.
Reaction No Barrier to Future Contests
Set to winning the National cup and succeeding in their purpose, any fear that the reaction after the weeks of intense strain may have a marked effect on the Bethlehem Steel team in its quest for new laurels, is dispelled by the attitude displayed by the players after the big classic. In fact, with one title tucked away it seems that the players are more determined than ever to annex to this success the H. E. Lewis cup, symbolic of the championship of the cup competition fostered by the American Soccer League, and which, when concluded, will bring to a close the present soccer season. The first round game in this competition will be played next Saturday. Bethlehem is drawn to meet Philadelphia and will give the Quaker City fans an opportunity for a close up of the National champions. If successful in this game, the Steelmen have next to dispose of Newark before advancing to the final rounds. Two cup championships for the season 1925-26 is the aim of the Steel Workers.
Ideal Parks Incentive For Patronage
It cost the U. S. F. A. big money for the use of Ebbetts Field, but, in comparison, such parks as Dexter and Hawthorne, both located in Brooklyn, are mere bogs and by no means suitable for a game of the importance of the classic decided on the home field of the Brooklyn National Baseball League. The attendance of the game, one of the finest ever witnessed, brought home more forcibly than ever that a park with conveniences such as Ebbetts Field proves an incentive in attracting patrons. The crowd was well handled. There was no jamming the sidelines or crowding the players for playing room, and everybody had a seat. Furthermore, the covered pavilions assured protection in the event of rain. A smooth greensward well cared for proved conducive to the best soccer. The grounds were a bit soft, but no real hindrance to the players.