Talking Soccer in Allentown
Encouraged no doubt by the attendance at small league games and cognizant of the rapidly growing popularity of soccer in this country, information emanates from Allentown to the effect that certain parties in the neighboring city are planning to organize a strong semi-pro team for the coming season, which will play either on a pitch at the Fair Grounds or Dukes' Park, South Side. The movement is to be commended, for it promises to assist in the task of inciting greater interest in the sport in the Lehigh Valley and last but not least educate a greater army of sports followers to the intricacies of the booting game, which after all are not as intricate as many may seem to think.
Plenty of Talent Available
Those behind the movement are convinced that there is plenty of talent of major league caliber engaged in various forms of employment in the neighboring city. These players, with what others that might be signed, they believed, could be developed into a formidable team. IT is the proper procedure in launching the sport. The expense of organizing such a team should not be very great and then if the response is commensurate, players could be added from time to time. Games played at River Front, Fountain Park and other parks in Allentown attract big attendances. And more than likely one representative team, if successful in securing the combined attendance of these former partisan admirers, is bound to make a success of it.
Bethlehem F. C. Would Benefit
If interest in the booting game is stimulated in Allentown there is little doubt that the Bethlehem Steel F. C. will be benefited. One of the tasks of the local club has been a campaign to educate a greater army of soccer boosters in the rudiments of the game. The last several seasons, particularly so since Bethlehem Booster Club was organized, witnessed the attendance increased but as yet not near the mark deserving the brand of soccer dispensed by the American Soccer League champions. The Allentown movement should be encouraged from this end. In the future it will probably mean much to the sport in Bethlehem.
Not Now, but Probably Eventually
One of the reasons probably that soccer has not gone across in Bethlehem with the bang evident in the New England states might be attributed to the absence of a nearby rival. Fall River, for instance, has Providence, Boston, J & P Coats, New Bedford and new Hartford, as New England rivals and the same applies to each of the other clubs. It is only natural that with such rivals interest is bound to thrive. Bethlehem's chief territorial rivals have been Philadelphia and Newark, N. J., and unfortunately neither one of these clubs in the past several seasons has been sufficiently formidable to incite any great interest. Perhaps if the movement in Allentown proves as successful as anticipated, the neighboring booters may become natural rivals of Bethlehem -- not in one or two years, but in the future. Imagine Allentown with a championship booting clan battling Bethlehem for soccer supremacy? This might be a far drawn vision, but yet meriting some thought.