The Bethlehem soccer players are rapidly rounding into condition and chances are that the squad will have its first game, an exhibition contest, no later than the coming Saturday a week. Manager Sheridan is well pleased with the work and is anxious to have the club participate in at least two exhibition games before it starts in the league and cup races.
There is a feeling that the campaign this year will be somewhat harder traveling than in years previous and in view of this Manager Sheridan is anxious to have the squad get away to an early and successful start.
As a feeler, in comparing the strength of the newly organized shipyard teams, the Bethlehem club is anxious to meet one or two of these aggregations in exhibition games. Several challenges have been issued and it is most likely that the shipyards will be just as anxious to get a line on the league and cup teams and will grasp the opportunity to clash with the last year all-around champions.
Immediately following the close of the baseball season the skin diamond will be sodded and the field put into condition for an exhibition game in this city on Saturday, September 28. Efforts are being made to have the Sun Ship or the Hog Island team come here as the opponents of the local squad.
The Disstons squad, which before the close of last season was almost completely wrecked by the call to the colors, has again re-organized, according to an announcement made this morning. In the Disstons makeup, however, the lineup will practically be new. Manager Regan has entered the eleven in the annual American Cup competition, and will enter the same team in the National cup. It is also very likely that the team will again be entered in the National League race.
If the report that the Fall River Rovers, runners up to the Bethlehem club in the National Cup race, will not be represented by soccer is true, it will be greatly regretted by soccer enthusiasts who held this club in high esteem. In the past three years it was really the Rovers that were the Bethlehem champions strongest opponents and the final clash of the season between these two clubs was recognized as the soccer classic of the season.
The Sun Shipbuilding Co. soccer team played its first game on Saturday against the second team, winning 1 to 0.
The first practice of the Hog Island soccer team was started yesterday and according to the ability of the players who are working for the squad the plant will be represented by a fairly strong aggregation. Noticed among the candidates are several well known former Disston and Hibernian players. Several players who played last season in the west are also trying to make the team. James Kerr, who was one of the best center halfbacks in the country when he played with the old Thistles, will train and coach the players, while Thomas Davidson, who managed the champion Altoona soccer team for the last few years, will also have charge of the players.
With Tommy Swords, the All-American forward, signed with the New York Shipyard soccer team, a strong aggregation is being developed to represent the plant in the shipyard league. Swords is well known wherever soccer is played and a year ago his star playing was a great asset to the Fall River Rovers in winning the National Cup. Swords was also with the Rovers last season and appeared in the final round against Bethlehem, but the Steel Workers were too strong for them and easily captured the trophy. Swords was taught the game in Fall River, where he was born and as he has been playing for the last sixteen years in fast company it can readily be seen that he knows all the inner points of the game.
With Tommy Fischer, Aleck McLaughlin, Johnny Ness, Willie Robinson and other former big league timber, together with "Tommy" Swords, New York Ship should have a corking eleven the coming season.
There will be two teams at Merchant Ship the coming season. The first team will sport its colors in the National League and the second in the Shipyard League.
Willie Robinson, the old Hibernian players, is the assistant manager of the New York Shipyard team. He will also play, thereby doing his bit both on and off the field.
Although the Sun Ship of Chester, Pa., has not yet announced its lineup for the coming season it is hinted that several stars will be seen sporting the Chester colors.