League Cup Hopes Shattered
The seemingly inevitable occurred when Bethlehem was eliminated in the American Soccer League cup competition by the New York Giants on the latter's field on Sunday. The complete collapse of the Bethlehem team is puzzling, and many of the ardent loyals who witnessed the Steelmen down the Giants in the game in Bethlehem on Saturday were stunned when the numerals of 9 to 3 were wired to this city. It was the worst defeat in the career of the Bethlehem Steel team and to add to the humiliating sting is the fact that the Steelmen when within reach of the coveted cup honors were suddenly dumped into the discard.
Muddy Field Favors Giants
Bethlehem is conceded a far better team on a fast and dry turf than on a heavy water logged and muddy pitch. Conditions on Saturday were ideal, when there was scarcely a breeze and a good dry turf. On Sunday the oval was a quagmire and when the ball control was hopeless and the neat shot passes which play such an important factor in the Bethlehem combination failed, the team simply went to pieces. The Giants were quick to sense this and made the most of every opportunity. A brief analysis of the game would indicate that the Giants were a far better team on the slippery field than Bethlehem.
Tommy Murray Sees Game
Back in 1918, Tommy Murray played a fullback position for the Bethlehem Steel team and it was a miskick of Murray's that eliminated Bethlehem in the final round of the American Cup competition. The former Bethlehemite, now located in New York, is still a Bethlehem fan and never misses an opportunity of seeing the Steelmen in action when playing in or near the Metropolis. He was one of the several hundred faithful to brave the elements on Sunday and was as much shocked by the outcome of the game as the most loyal of Bethlehem fans. "Well, I guess I'm not the only one to boot them in for the opposing team," was one of Murray's remarks while standing in a subway station exchanging greetings with Bethlehem friends. Murray had reference to the shot that glided off the boot of Carnihan and another by McDonald, both of which located in the Bethlehem net for the Giant scores.
Eliminated Bethlehem in American Cup
Just about this time eight years ago, Murray was a very much down-hearted young man. We can recall Murray holding himself aloof from his teammates, sitting in the station waiting for the train to come back to Bethlehem, brooding over what had occurred in the game that day. The Steel Workers were fighting it out with the Robins Dry Docks eleven for the American Cup title and it was one of the most grueling contests in the history of American soccer. Neither team gave nor asked quarter and it was a battle from the opening to the final whistle. The game was played on Harrison Field, N. J. Nip and tuck the contest was waged well into the second half, with neither team able to score. Then along in the closing minutes the Robins came sweeping down the field. The rally was determined and in the scrimmage that followed McGuire, we believe it was, shot for goal. In his effort to clear, Murray looped the ball over his head, well out of the way of his goalie and it dropped into the net for the only score of the game. And Bethlehem's elimination.
Not the Defeat But the Score
It was not the defeat or the elimination in the cup classic which stung yesterday, but the margin by which the Giants administered the defeat. Favorites before the game, by virtue of their title of National champions, and after the game was started and the Giants had tallied two goals. New York fans would not concede the New Yorkers a victory. But when goals came with startling rapidity and the Giants piled up a substantial lead, sentiment changed. The Giants management before the start had suggested that the game be postponed on account of the wet field. When Referee Mose Bloom, after inspecting the field, decided it was in playable condition, the Bethlehem team insisted on playing. Bethlehem would undoubtedly have been better suited on a dry field, but figured the chances even, with the elements unfavorable to both clubs.
New Bedford vs. Giants
New Bedford is the finalist in the New England district, having licked Providence in one of the two games played, and scoring the largest number of points in the two games, and as a result will meet the New York Giants in the final round of two games next weekend. New Bedford swamped Providence in the Saturday game by the score of 6 goals to none. In the return game at Providence on Saturday, the Fletcher clan turned the tables, winning 4 goals to 2. The aggregate count of the two games gave New Bedford a total goal score of 8 to 2. New Bedford has a sweet club and on the season's display will be the favorite. However, Bethlehem sentiment will be with the Giants.