The Bethlehem Steel F. C. shot its final bolt in the American Soccer League cup competition on a mud-churned field at The Oval, New York City, on Sunday afternoon. Like a bolt from the clear, the National champions were eliminated by the New York Giants in the most humiliating defeat ever experienced by a Bethlehem Steel soccer team.
The Giants, held scoreless, 2 to 0, on their invasion of Bethlehem, on Saturday afternoon, ran wild Sunday to pile up a total of nine goals to Bethlehem's three, qualifying the Gotham booters to represent the metropolitan district in the final, to be played next weekend.
In the glorious victory there were less than a thousand New York fans, who braved the elements to see their team win. Conditions were anything but ideal for such an important classic with a driving wind and rain sweeping the oval throughout the game. It was a day for the Giants and the latter, able to adapt themselves to he conditions, were far the better team.
Since soccer has been played by Bethlehem, never has the writer seen the team put to such a complete rout. There was no semblance of the splendid combination, dazzling passing and brilliant ball control, which carried the club through for the National championship. Instead the display was that of a demoralized machine with the Giants taking advantage of every opportunity.
After the splendid showing on Saturday, when the Steelmen were complete masters of their opponents in the home game, their work in the Sunday setto was no comparison. Perhaps the Steel Workers took their opponents too cheaply, invaded their lair over-confident and if they did, had a sorry awakening. As completely as Bethlehem monopolized the play on home loam on Saturday, that completely were the Giants master of the game in New York.
The Bethlehem defense crumbled under the dashing play of the New Yorkers while the forward line seemed completely lost in the going. The Giants' victory might be attributed to the fact that the players were best able to adapt themselves to the conditions. But that is no alibi for the veteran Steelmen, who with their experience should have proven equally as capable of resorting to a style of play best suited for the conditions.
The Giants resorted to lashing the ball and occasionally intermingling this style with some pretty combination. However, it was the kick and rush tactics which proved most effective. The Steel Workers, on the other and, persisted in dribbling and short passing and many were their shortcomings for holding on to the ball too long.
The champions were in a charitable mood and contributed materially to the efforts of the Giants to score. ON the second goal, Bill Carnihan made it possible, when in trying to clear, he deflected the ball into the corner of the net. On another occasion, the ball caromed off Whitey McDonald to sail high into the corner of the net.
For fifteen minutes Referee Bloom held up the game, trying to arrive at a decision whether or not it should be played. When the teams took the field, the pitch was a quagmire, with pools of water dotting the playing space and a hard, driving rain falling. Bethlehem lost the toss and the Giants elected to play with the wind and rain at their backs.
Undaunted by the fact that Bethlehem had a two goal lead in the elimination test, by virtue of the goals scored in Bethlehem the day previous, the Giants went about their work with the dash and spirit characteristic of their play.
Davy Brown and Duggan were the chief menace on the Giant offense. Carnihan mad the New York center forward look foolish in the Saturday tilt, but in the Sunday game it was Brown who held the upper hand. Outstanding on the defense was Moorehouse and Kelly, backs, and Parkes, on the halfback line.
Bethlehem field a club slightly changed over that of the previous day. Berryman was eliminated and Whitey McDonald sent to right full with Harris taking McDonald's place on the halfback line. McDonald was not nearly as effective in that position as he is at halfback, and more than once Crilley, Giants' outside left, was uncovered and had opportunities on which only his poor aims prevented the Giants from rolling up a higher score.
Goldie complained of an injured knee which necessitated a shift on the forward line. Arthur Robertson played the first half at outside left and in the second half, changed with Rollo, the later going to outside left, and Robertson playing the inside position.
MacGregor scored one of Bethlehem's three goals on a free kick just outside of the penalty area.
Under the new system of playing the semi-final and final rounds on a home-and-home basis with the aggregate total of scores to count, the Giants advanced to the final round with a total of 9 goals to Bethlehem's 5 in the two games played. The lineup:
Giants – Bethlehem
Geudert – G – Carson
Kelly – RFB – McDonald
Moorehouse – LFB – Allen
Harris – RHB – Burnett
Parkes – CHB – Carnihan
Hosle – LHB – MacGregor
Cook – OR – Jaap
Duggan – IR – Granger
Brown – CF – Stark
Stradan – IL – Rollo
Crilley – OL – Robertson
Goals – N. Y. Giants: Brown 3, Duggan 2, Burnett, Moorehouse, Crilley, Stradan. Bethlehem: Stark, Rollo, MacGregor. Time of halves, 45 minutes. Referee – Mose Bloom. Linesmen – J. Murphy and J. Cunningham.
Completely outplaying and outgaming the New York Giants on Steel Field on Saturday afternoon, the Bethlehem Steel F. C., in scoring two goals to none, looked certain to retain the honors in the American Soccer League cup competition. However, the two goals scored by no mans describe the superiority of the Steel Workers in that game, but Sunday's game won by New York in Gotham, 9 to 3, is another story, and is related in another column.
The Bethlehems were the class in every position and romped through the game with a dash and spirit befitting a champion combination. The work of the forward line was dazzling and had the visitors constantly in trouble. ON the defense the team was a stone barrier and with the exception of several good saves by Carson, the Giants seldom came within shooting range of the Bethlehem net.
Bethlehem, however, lost an opportunity of rolling up a score that would have been equally as one-sided as that with which the Giants won the second game and advanced to the final round. They had enough shots at goal to win half a dozen soccer games, but when their drives were not striking the uprights or the cross bar, George Geudert, the stellar custodian of the New York clan, was performing in sensational style.
The work of Geudert was nothing less than phenomenal. Agile as a cat and seeming to sense the direction of the shots, eh was all over the goal mouth in frustrating Bethlehem goals. On his work in Bethlehem, he easily ranked as the best goalie seen on the Steel lot this season.
THE Bethlehem goalie had no chance to equal the work of Geudert simply because he was not given the opportunity. At the very start of the game, he handled well on a dangerous shot and once again in the first half he was called upon to save, and did so. The Giants initiated only two breakaways in this half which assumed a threatening aspect, and in the second half, had one movement that carried the ball close to goal for Carson to handle.
Early in the opening half the Steel Workers initiated a breakaway which resulted in a score. Stark had worked his way past the backs and had no one to beat but Geudert, but his shot for goal went to the waiting New York goalie. The latter, in saving, shoved the ball out and Jaap, getting possession, smashed it across to Goldie, the latter centering to Granger, who looped it into the net.
The Giants spurted and in the attack on the Bethlehem goal, Allan, plying a great game, cut into and cleared. An instant later the Giants rallied in front of the Bethlehem goal but Carson handled successfully. From then on it was Bethlehem doing the pressing continuously to the end of the half which ended with the Steelmen leading one goal to none.
A few minutes after the restart, the Steel Workers counted their second and last goal.
An idea of how completely Bethlehem monopolized the game can best be gleaned by the number of corner kicks rather than the goals scored. With pressure severe at all times, the Giants in their defense were forced to concede a total of 15 corners, six of which were given away in the first half and the remaining nine in the last half. But one of these corners proved productive and that was the one on which Goldie, centered and Stark scored from scrimmage. The Giants had two corners in the entire game. The lineup:
Giants -- Bethlehem
Geudert – G – Carson
Burnett – RFB – Berryman
Moorehouse – LFB – Allan
Parks – RHB – McDonald
Foy – CHB – Carnihan
McKinney – LHB – MacGregor
Cook – OR – Jaap
Duggan – IR – Granger
Brown – CF – Stark
Barr – IL – Rollo
Stradan – OL – Goldie
Goals – Granger, Stark. Referee – Mose Bloom. Linesmen – Cunningham and Murphy. Time of halves, 45 minutes.