The Survival of the Fittest
On the afternoon of July 13, with the Bethlehem Steel athletic field as the scene of hostilities, the survival of the fittest under the grueling weather conditions certain to prevail then, will undoubtedly be a dominant factor in deciding the victor of the international clash between the crack Scottish big leaguers, now touring Canada and this country, and Bethlehem Steel's celebrated aggregation of soccerites. As the time for the contest approaches and with a taste of sweltering atmospheric conditions, the strain under which the 22 men to represent the two clans will labor, is brought more forcibly to mind. It means that every man must be perfectly fit physically. When it is realized that the seasonable time for this sport is during the frigid months, and when even then the strain of endurance is a telling factor, one can more fully realize the task the players are undertaking in competing against competition of equal caliber in practically the hottest month of the year. Speaking of the game, one of the parties vitally interested in staging the big classic remarked: "It's going to be hard going for every man and I would be little surprised if a number of players were forced to retire due to exhaustion. With a team the caliber of the Scottish clan as an opponent, there will be little opportunity for stalling, but practically a continuous plugging during every one of the 90 minutes of play. The same applies to the tourists. If Bethlehem met the visitors here a day or two ore even three days after another contest, it would b e a decided advantage to the local clan for a team could hardly recuperate to full strength within that period of time after a hard session. Instead, however, the Scots come here direct from Canada after a prolonged rest and open their American campaigning of seven games with the first in Bethlehem." When asked relative to the possibility of an agreement being made between the two teams to replace players with substitutes, this local soccer devotee asserted that he was certain that no such agreement would be made and further that there was little likelihood that the length of the periods -- 45 minutes for each half -- would be reduced. "If Bethlehem wins the game the team wants to win it under the playing conditions that are prescribed by the U. S. F. A. in the big American Cup competitions," he concluded. The first call for practice sessions was made on Tuesday when the entire squad reported for action. This week will probably be devoted exclusively to the preliminary work, kicking the ball around the field, shooting for the net and other light workouts. However, longer and harder sessions are promised, starting next Monday, when the players will be fitted to carry through the entire regulation period at full pace. With enough players available for two games, it is more than likely that teams equally balanced will be selected and indulge in several practice games before meeting the tourists.
Players Anticipated the Game
Anyone believing that the players representing the Bethlehem clan have been caught napping and are starting training out of condition is badly mistaken. The possibility of the game was hanging fire long before the tourists ever invaded Canada and this information was communicated to the players. In fact, they were anticipating the clash that is now definitely arranged, feeling certain that even should Bethlehem be unsuccessful in securing a game for the home grounds, the team would be selected as one of the foremost American soccer representatives to meet the invaders in some other city. As a result, the gymnasium on the Bethlehem Steel Field was the scene of much activity since the close of the soccer season and since the hot weather set in, the players took to outdoor work. They have kept themselves in the best condition and, according to Bill Stark, the veteran trainer, looked fit enough to go through with a regular game on the first day they reported for practice.