The Globe-Times -- Bethlehem
April 19, 1927
A Swing Along Athletic Row

Relations in Soccer Severely Strained
An undercurrent of ill-will prevalent in the relations of European and American soccer is no longer a secret. Inklings of this attitude become more apparent from time to time, with snatches of gossip emanating from the powers that be on both continents. Whether it will reach a boiling point and the threatened break with the International Football Federation will depend largely on the diplomatic measures resorted to in the future. As gleaned from club owners, league executives and others vitally interested in this rapidly growing and popular sport in America, it would seem that the European powers are really more concerned than the Americans. Poaching on players is the complaint and poaching will continue as long as the gate makes it worth while and players see fit to accept lucrative terms.

Not According to Hoyle
Accusations of not playing the game have come from the European soccer brethren and in rebuttal there are some American clubs who are making similar challenges. If not mistaken, contracts expire with the present playing season and with players free agents, another invasion of European stars to American shores is threatened. Many of the big clubs in this country have refrained from luring a player away from his club until his season expired. There are charges that European soccer has not reciprocated in the same consideration. No less a soccer executive than "Bill" Cunningham, president of the American Soccer League, the big booting show in this country, is credited with openly accusing Greenock Morton, one of the big Scottish clubs, of less than a month ago cabling with Alick McNabb, captain oft he Boston team and known to be under contract and playing regularly with the Boston team, negotiating for his services. Is that reciprocal?

An Influx of Stars
one can dig up a lot of idle chatter in circling the American Soccer League loop, picking up a hint and there. However, quite frequently there is some basis for such talk. Reference is made to what is heard regarding the personnel of some of the clubs for next season. The 1926-27 season will close shop as the biggest soccer year in the history of the sport in America. Its popularity grew with leaps and bounds. Incidentally, the teams that finished at the top were the best gate attractions. The result is that owners and managers have carefully analyzed the strength of their teams. They know where the weakness exists and their aim, regardless of cost, is to strengthen those positions. The fans demand it and if soccer is to prove financially productive, the clamor of the patrons must be considered. T here are some pretty shrewd business men at the head of quite a few of the American Soccer League clubs. Nat Agar, of Brooklyn, is one and he made a ten strike when he signed a wealth of the Hakoah stars who toured this country last year. Sam Marks, the directing head of the Fall River club, is not letting any grass grow under his feet and when it comes to picking talent, critics throughout the country doff their kellies to the powers that be with the Bethlehem Steel team. Each year the clubs comprising the American Soccer League have displayed greater strength and with the game just about "made" it is certain they will not forfeit the chance by allowing it to slip away. Better balanced clubs and a better balanced league have been dominant factors in the success of the loop.

A Satisfactory Working Agreement
It's not so many years ago that things were conducted in a rather slip shod manner in American soccer. That was to be expected during the period the missionaries were building a foundation for the future. Soccer teams failed to honor their scheduled dates, players jumped clubs and what-not? However, with the birth of the American Soccer League came a turn of affairs. This circuit is run pretty strict, although there might be some who think not. Not quite perfect, it is probably agreed, but then they didn't build Rome in a day. There is no rule preventing players from severing relations with their club at the close of the season. Not in writing, but nevertheless, a gentleman's agreement that is lived up to. Perhaps in the near future a working agreement can be reached with European soccer powers.

Bethlehem Steel Soccer Club