Not a Bit Surprising
When word was flashed in this city yesterday that the New York headquarters of the American Soccer League had decreed that the final game of the series for the National title involving Boston F. C. and the Ben Millers, of St. Louis, be played in St. Louis, the announcement was hard to believe in face of the usual custom of playing the final game of an important classic on a neutral field. Therefore the announcement emanating from Boston that Pres. Wood of the Hubmen, refuses to acknowledge this order and will rather withdraw from the series than journey to St. Louis is not the least surprising. And President Wood will most certainly have with him to share this attitude the majority of soccer magnates in the American loop. However, this is but another instance of the mishandling of American Soccer league affairs so glaringly apparent during the current season, and which, it is believed, is either influenced from a money-mad desire, or efforts of some individuals to establish stronger influence in certain soccer hotbeds. Why this or these directing authorities of the American Soccer League again spurned the neutral grounds in the biggest soccer classic of the season is way beyond conception.
An Interesting Sidelight
The selection of the site for the final game discloses an interesting sidelight, and one in which it is alleged that the Hubmen were subject to ragged treatment on their previous invasion of St. Louis. Apparently the ire of President Wood is at boiling point and no one can hate him for this attitude. David Scott, the spokesman for the Hub dribblers, is quite scathing in denouncing the American Soccer League executives and is quoted as saying: "That the league authorities have agreed to allow the final game to be played in St. Louis after the treatment of that the Boston club received there at the hands of the officials and spectators on the occasion of the first contest is astonishing to Boston soccer men." It is alleged that on one occasion during the St. Louis contest a spectator rushed from the touchline while Alex McNab, of the Boston team, was dribbling down the field, and struck the Hub player forcibly in the face with his fist. It was understood that the reception of the Eastern invaders to St. Louis in the past had usually been the best desired and such alleged conduct quite surprising.
Intimates Money Grabbing Greed
Speaking for President Wood, Manager Scott intimates that the selection of the St. Louis grounds was inspired by a money-grabbing greed and maybe there are quite a number of soccer people in the circuit who are entertaining a similar opinion. "We are willing to play the game most anywhere else but in St. Louis," Manager Scott is quoted as saying, and in displaying real sportsmanship says: "we will even go as far west as Chicago if necessary, but we emphatically will not play in St. Louis again this season." Intimating that the "gate" had much to do with the selection of the site, President Wood states that he is not willing to risk the loss of the game in order to make sure of a good "gate." "This championship means too much to the Boston Club to subordinate it to a thing of that sort," said he. "We feel confident if the game is played on a neutral field that we will be able to win without much difficulty. The second game in Boston indicated that."
House Cleaning Appears Imminent
Two dominating essentials in the success of professional athletics appear to be harmony and cooperation and of these both were found glaringly wanting during the present season. Ill feeling, it is safe to say, was engendered from time to time and seemingly due to the Czaristic attitude of certain executives. We will likewise say that of the American Soccer League, which is now strongly founded, is to experience success, harmony must be established and executives with backbone rule with an impartial mind. Discord in league ranks was more than once prevalent and quite some criticism created when a precedent was established in disregarding a neutral grounds for the cup tie final which with Boston F. C. and Fall River, the team involved, the game was ordered played on the Fall River grounds. IF the league is to be purely a commercial proposition and all ethics of true sportsmanship flaunted, house cleaning seems immanent.