Soccer boosters turned out strong for the meeting at the Hotel Bethlehem Monday evening, at which plans were made to celebrate the opening of the soccer season in Bethlehem. The first American League game will be played here next Monday afternoon when Newark will be the opponents of the local team.
However, before opening the season here with the Jerseymen, Bethlehem will launch its league campaign against Brooklyn at Hawthorne Field on Sunday afternoon.
Many attractive features were planned for the opening game here. The efforts made during the winter months and encouraged by the local civic clubs and other organizations it is hoped will be reflected in the attendance for the opening game, this being one of the very few major attractions to be held on Labor Day.
The H. E. Lewis Challenge Cup, offered in competition in the American Soccer League cup tie, will be displayed during the week. This is the major trophy won by Bethlehem during the last season and incidentally is the first time in four years that the local team has been able to secure a leg on the trophy.
Among the many other details attended to at the meeting last night, it was again decided to sell the children the Soccer Booster cap which entitles them to all games free of admission. A soccer ball will again be presented to the lucky youngster drawn from among the coupons deposited at the gate.
While the boosters are busy making their plans for the opening game which will have Mayor James Yeakel kick off the first ball, the management of the team was busy trying to decide on the lineup for the two weekend contests. Since victory in the opening games is quite important, every effort will be made under the circumstances to field the strongest club possible.
The absence of Willie Reid and McMeekin, two veterans, is causing the management no little concern. Both players are reported to have sailed last Saturday, but at the earliest would not return in time and be in condition to take their positions in the opening games. Accompanying the Bethlehem regulars is John McGrillen, Irish Internationalist, who is expected to pinch hit in the position vacated by Malcolm Goldie, outside left, who was transferred to Fall River.
It is also understood that Dave Edwards has not yet come to terms and unless he does John McClure, goalie received from the New York Giants, will be assigned between the uprights.
The team played its first game of the season in New York last Sunday, losing to the Giants in an exhibition affair. Numerous changes in the lineup were made to try out the four new players and it is understood the management was quite impressed with their showing. It is likely that all of these new players will see service in the opening games.
The team is training hard and should be in good condition for the weekend twin bill. The team will play in white this due to the lighter costume in vogue during the hot season.