The ranks of the Bethlehem Steel F. C. will be pretty well depleted in another week, with many of the players either going abroad or to distant points in the States to visit parents and relatives on extended vacations.
Among the first to leave were Robert "Whitey" MacDonald and George Forrest, right halfback and outside forward, who left more than a week ago for a vacation at their home in Canada. George Jaap, outside right, left about the same time for his home in Pittsburgh.
William Allan and Joe Berryman, regular fullbacks are at present on the high seas en route to their homes in Scotland. Another overseas visitor will be Johnny Granger, veteran inside right, who has booked passage for Saturday.
The visit to Scotland will be the first in a period of half a dozen years for Granter, who will be accompanied by Mrs. Granger, it will be a belated, it is understood that Frank Harris is also contemplating a trip home.
With the exodus of players, the ranks of the National champions will be decidedly thinned out during the summer months. However, all of them are expected to return and be back in time to get in several good kicks of practice before the opening of the season, which will probably be early in September.
It is understood that no players will be signed until the later part of the summer, when the forms will be presented. In the meantime, however, there is no danger of any of them changing affiliations unless released by the management. There is an understanding among the clubs, although not mentioned in the constitution and bylaws, that no players can be tampered with unless released and this agreement is strictly adhered to. In the old days, a player was a free agent immediately at the close of the season and the scramble for new talent was general.
Wrapped up in the threatened warfare between the New England and Metropolitan clubs, the local management is at present paying little attention to the signing of players. This will be delayed pending some action on the proposed plan for reorganization and the elimination of several of the clubs. The Steel Workers oppose the sentiment that is prevalent among the New England clubs, and are determined to remain loyal to those in the Metropolitan district, especially insofar as they are privileged to have their way in an open meeting. The outcome of this threatened split in the ranks is being watched with keen anticipation by soccer interests.