by Sita Dell
Another distinct honor for Bethlehem in athletics, one that is more far-reaching than any other brought back to this city, was garnered by the Bethlehem Steel soccer team in winning the international championship title in the series of games just completed in Sweden.
The playing of the Swedes ranks with the best teams in England and Scotland so that the honors captured by the Americans will be recognized throughout the world.
According to an Associated Press dispatch, the last game was one on Thursday afternoon when the Americans proved their mettle by defeating a combined Stockholm team, composed of the best players selected from the district. The dispatch says:
"The Bethlehem Steel Football team was victorious yesterday in the last match it will play here, beating the combined Stockholm team by the score of 1 to 0. The Bethlehem team will sail from Bergen for the United States on Sept. 27, on board the steamer Stavansgerfjord."
It is interesting to note that after the Steel Workers garnered all the soccer honors available in this country, accomplishing something never before duplicated when they won the championship in three successive years, the club went in for still greater accomplishments and their record abroad shows that again they have been successful. It is the first time an American team has figured in the same number of games abroad and the record established is one that promises to stand for a good many years.
When the team returns it will be the envy of every other soccer organization in the country. It means that during the coming campaign here all eyes will be centered on Bethlehem and all teams primed to their very best when they meet the champions. Bolstering of rival teams will be even greater than before, the managers fully realizing the honors possible by defeating the Steel Workers in the competitions that will shortly start.
Leaving Bergen on Sept. 27 will bring the players back here early in October. By that time the majority of the teams in this country will be in full swing and should be well conditioned to take on the champions. Just what course will be pursued by the local management is not known and will not be known until the players return, but it is most likely that after the long sea voyage the team will be given a brief rest before again actively competing. To garner the honors again in this country will be even sweeter than before and every precaution should be taken for the team to be at its best when they start their campaigning. It must be remembered that the Bethlehem club has been practically playing the entire year and that the continual strain of playing and keeping in condition may have a tendency to make them stale. These matter are, however, for the trainers to decide and since the squad has been accorded the best care possible it is more than probable that the problem confronting the return of the club has been already solved.
Of the 11 games played, the champions were victorious in five, lost only two and each of these by a one-goal margin, while four resulted in a draw. They also registered the highest score, winning one of the games 6 goals to 1.