Rubbing It In
Anyone familiar with soccer routine and precedents established before and leading up to cup games, cannot but arrive at the conclusion that the American Soccer League moguls treated Bethlehem rather unkindly in the arrangement of the schedule prior to the big Eastern final, to be played probably a week from Saturday. Bethlehem's on possible respite is a draw game when Fall River and Providence meet in the semi-final round in the New England bracket a week from Sunday. And that is hardly possible, with extra time in case of a draw at the end of the regulation period. It has been the custom to lighten the burden of cup contenders as much as possible prior to a cup game. The league executives are not blind to the fact that Bethlehem's game against the Hakoahs in Taylor Stadium next Wednesday is certain to be a hard tilt. However, they probably contend that it is Bethlehem's funeral and not a matter for the league to consider. Bethlehem's position in soccer, the influence that the team in the sport throughout the country and the devout efforts employed in popularizing the game in this country, deserved a better fate than the two league games over the weekend. Somebody will probably be the loser through it. Not Bethlehem, but the loyal New York patrons who are threatened with seeing a makeshift team oppose the Giants in the league game in New York next Sunday. With seven games yet to be played and only one victory needed to clinch the American Soccer League title, Bethlehem could well afford to present a makeshift lineup and would be justified in doing it in the interest of protecting its cup chances.
How Easily for a Single Game
That a league game would have to be played was practically a foregone conclusion, and Bethlehem was quite willing to play a league game. However, the double dose was quite unexpected and when appeal was made for relief the message received was: "Sorry, but can't change the schedule." That's that, and if Bethlehem desires to remain in the good graces of the league, the two games must be played. Unfortunately the local club is hard put with injuries at this time, and four games in nine days is certainly not going to improve the physical condition of the players. There is but one alternative and that is in fielding a makeshift team. Bethlehem would undoubtedly rather lose every remaining league game than to jeopardize its changes in defending its title as national champion.