Hardly more than two weeks intervene before the Bethlehem Steel soccer team goes to the post in its inaugural match for the 1924-25 season. The game will be a preliminary before the opening of the American League season and will be played against the Boston Club, one of the newcomers to the circuit, at Boston, on Saturday August 30.
The latter club, although a newcomer to the circuit, already promises to be one of the strongest aggregations in the league. One of the first star captures of the of the season occurred when Tommy Muirhead, a halfback, and former star with the Glasgow Rangers, attached his signature to a contract. It is also heard that Tommy Fleming, for years a star wingman with the local team and for the past two seasons with the J & P Coats team at Pawtucket, R. I., left the latter aggregation to sign with the Boston team. Fleming two years ago was the leading scorer in the circuit and last year was a runner-up to the honors after leading in individual scoring up until the closing stages of the league race.
Every indication is that the competition in the American Soccer League will be more equal and stronger than ever before. The respective managements have stepped out and the league now monopolizes practically the cream of all the playing talent in this country.
Only one newcomer has been added to the ranks of the Bethlehem Steel team and that is Peter Purdian, of Gillespie, Ill., who quite recently signed a contract. Purdian joins the local forces with an enviable reputation and on the strength of his brilliant playing with the Gillespie team against the Vesper-Buicks, was much sought by the local management. The newcomer is reputed to be very fast and clever and plays either outside or inside positions. He is here with the club and will probably make his first appearance in a regular game against the Boston club the latter part of this month.
It is also learned that Fall River will support two clubs during the coming season. The one will be the representative Fall River aggregation with Harold Brittan again at its head, and the other a club representing New Bedford, Mass., one of the new members admitted to the circuit. It is understood that due to the inability to secure grounds in New Bedford, the latter management has prevailed upon the league magnates to allow them to play on the Fall River grounds and in spite of strenuous protests of the latter management, the request was granted.
With the exception of Purdian there will be no new faces in the ranks of the Steel Workers. That is no new members known of at this time. However, with the return of the Jackson brothers, which is hoped by the local management, the personnel of players will be quite complete. Those who have signed contracts and have been retained by the club are:
Goal: David Carson and Bill Highfield.
Fullbacks: Jock Young, David and Jock Ferguson.
Halfbacks: Robert McGregor, Bill Carnihan, Robertson, John McFarland, and Robert Terris.
Forwards: Neil Turner, Malcolm Goldie, Sturdy Maxwell, John Grainger, Jack Rattray and Peter Purdian.