Echoes From New York
The final chapter in the Bethlehem-Boston fiasco, enacted by Bill Cunningham, will be staged next Tuesday night at a meeting of the American Soccer League in New York, and some healthy discussion is certain to materialize. Furthermore there will be some tall explaining to be done and if not mistaken the sympathies of the representatives will be unanimously with Bethlehem. This attitude is gleaned by the various comments made in other cities fostering league clubs and some of the criticism on the arrogant manner in which league business is transacted is quite scathing. An idea of the sentiment is given in the comments of Edward P. Duffy, appearing in the June 15 issue of the New York Sun. Mr. Duffy, cognizant of the affairs of the league, types the following: "Bethlehem's 4 to 0 victory over Boston at Hawthorne Field on Tuesday night has been canceled by the American Soccer League and Boston is ordered to meet New Bedford in the final on Saturday and Sunday for the league championship. The disqualification of Bethlehem comes about because the Steelmen used Smith as goalkeeper in the game. The Bethlehem management claims permission to use Smith was obtained from the Boston club, the United States Football Association, the Brooklyn Wanderers and the American Soccer League. If ever an eleven was thoroughly beaten Boston was on Tuesday night and it has a chance to be champion now by legislation, not playing ability. After the game it was discovered that a last minute rule had been passed to govern the playoffs to the effect that no player other than regularly signed men could be used in the lineups. Apparently one section of the league office did not know what the other was doing, as has been the case on at least one other occasion. The permission that Bethlehem got cost them a disqualification through no fault of its own. The least that could have been done in the way of justice and common sense was to offer a replay, as is usually done in cases of that kind even when the offending team is really at fault. The upshot of the decision will probably be the withdrawal of Bethlehem from the league. The players have been apprised of the situation and it is not known whether the team will continue independently next year or disband altogether. The present administration of the league has made many errors in its rulings, but none has been much worse than the latest. Nearly all of the clubs have drawn less this year than last and little constructive work has been done except by two clubs owners. Four clubs in the loop are passengers and could be dropped and should be. Tom Adams, of the decrepit Newark team, once told the magnates, who wanted him to retire from the league, that he had paid the New England clubs more money than they had paid him. Yet New England runs the league, though it has only two financially competition sections to brag of in a once good territory. This league, in the opinion of competition persons, needs new blood in several ways. It is actually going behind, and decisions like the Bethlehem-Boston fiasco do not add anything to its dignity."