The Globe -- Bethlehem
Monday, September 17, 1928
BETHLEHEM STEEL WILL ENTER NATIONAL SOCCER CUT TIE THIS SEASON
Club Decides to Get Into Matches Despite Action of the American League
Schedules of League and the Cup Tie Games Will Not Conflict
Contrary to the action taken by the American Soccer League in withdrawing from the National Cup tie, there will be one league club that will compete. After several days consideration the management of the Bethlehem team has decided to enter the team in the United States Football Association cup competition, regardless of the consequences that may follow. There is no doubt whatever but that the league will view this action as arbitrary to the interest of the league. On the other hand the local management is convinced that its action is to the interest of soccer in general and is entering the play influenced by the same motive by which the other clubs in the league voted to withdraw.
The League Reason
The withdrawal from the cup tie is actuated, according to the league view, because of a conflict with the schedule and the cup play regarded as a losing proposition. In contrast, Bethlehem views the cup play as a profitable proposition and a thing to create interest in soccer. The U. S. F. A., is the parent organization and unless recognized as such and all interest co-operate, it is believed that the rapidly growing popularity of the game will suffer. The clubs opposed to the cup are those whom in their league season derive plenty of revenue and naturally are not concerned. With Bethlehem it is a different proposition. It is pointed out that the cup final, providing of course the team survives, is worth $5,000 to any club.
Matter of Existence
To Bethlehem the cup tie play is a matter of existence in which the team will be fighting for what it can get out of the competition. The clubs favoring withdrawal are fighting for the same purpose only in a different way. With the latter clubs in the majority, Bethlehem has been frequently compelled to waive in matters that would be of benefit to the local club. In announcing that the team would enter the cup tie, the management also announced that in no way with the club abuse the league schedule.
In considering the proposition a way was found in which all league obligations can be carried out. The club at present has a personnel large enough to field two clubs if the necessity demands. However, with the arrangement of the schedule, it is believed, there will be no need for doing so. The association it is understood will arrange the Bethlehem games on dates not to conflict with the league schedule. In the first half of the season, the locals have eight double header weekends and single game weekends. The same arrangement will practically exist for the second half. Therefore, the extra playing date made possible by the single date, the team will play the tie contest, games in which Bethlehem will hardly be called upon to play before January 1. That is the proposition the team will take to the league at its next meeting.
While the big league clubs in the East have decided to divorce themselves from the association competition, the contrast discloses that the representation of the big teams in the West is greater than ever before. Practically all of the teams of first rate caliber in the St. Louis, Chicago and Detroit districts will be again represented. Eastern interest no doubt will resent Bethlehem's actions but since the local team has always been recognized as one of the strongest in the East, will welcome Bethlehem in the competition. The final will this year be played in the West, which will not conflict with any league game played in the East.
Bethlehem Steel Soccer Club