American League Clubs Exempt in Preliminary Rounds
At a meeting of the United States Football Association held in New York City yesterday, one hundred and thirty teams entered the Annual National Challenge Cup competition, including the strong professional eleven comprising the American Soccer League. In the draw of the first round matches, all American League clubs have been exempted as per their request. With the professional teams back in the fold and differences which existed last year amicably adjusted the cup competition promises to be all that it has been in the past and in the winner the team surviving the final round will again be recognized as the premier soccer aggregation in the country.
Fell Sort of Flat Last Season
With the professional clubs withdrawn from the competition and practically severing all affiliation with the National Association the cup competition last season fell somewhat flat. Shawsheen, winner of honors, was the one new club admitted to the American Soccer League this season. The national Association was not slow in falling to the mistake in warring with the big professional league and by conceding to the demands of the professionals the latter for direct representation as a body and most important of all a revision in the division of the receipts for the semi-final and final rounds, these clubs are again returned with good graces existing among all concerned. By exempting in the early rounds the schedule of the American Soccer league will not be affected very much.
Two Clubs and a League Championship
This season will again see the soccer teams affiliated with the U. S. F. A. back to the two cups and league competitions similar to that witnessed in the past. It might be said, however, that the league competition will not be run in the slipshod manner of the old National League when teams were more concerned in the cup competitions than the league affairs. The American Cup competition was abandoned two years ago but in its stead was created the American League cup which is confined to the league clubs and had met with such success last season that it is here to stay. Therefore the foremost soccer honors to be captured in the season now under way are the National and American cup championships and the American Soccer League championship.
High Cost of Players
Soccer has developed to such an extent that clubs are running wild signing up talent. The first intimation of a possible break in the wad of surplus capital is hinted in recent New England publications in which New Bedford is singled out as a club on the verge of bankruptcy. It is said that New Bedford has signed players with such abandon that the financial resources are severely taxed and that an unloading may be expected at any time. In the past clubs were satisfied to carry a roster of fifteen to eighteen players, but with the usual two games over the weekend the number as been greatly increased. It is also agreed to share up all the available talent possible to deprive some other club of getting the players. If New Bedford unloads it is more or less unfair to the players who are let out.