Talent to be comprised in the American Soccer League which officially gets under way on October 6, can best be gleaned by the many celebrities signed with the various clubs, the majority of which will play their first games in this country the coming season. Judging by the many new players included in the roster of the individual clubs, every team in the league threatens to make a strong bid for the laurels, and the acquisition of the new men thoroughly indicates that the scouts have been more than busy during the summer months.
There are close to fifty-eight new men on the roster of the eight clubs which comprise this season' American Soccer League. Practically all of these men will find permanent places in the ranks of their new clubs, thereby giving a deserved rest to a number of seasoned veterans who have been cavorting on soccer pitches for a number of years.
Nine men who are strangers in American soccer will be introduced by the National Giants, formerly the Paterson club. These include John Scott, John Paton, John Brown, Thos. Robb, James Hoops and Eddie Swan, players who are bound to show a number of new tricks in the dribbling line. Others who will play with the team are Billy Murray, Jimmy Scott, Pete Sweeney, Frank McIllwraith, Day Cameron, Dan McNiven, the latter late with Bethlehem, and Billy Fryer.
J & P Coats added six players to the list, which includes Bobby Drummond, who played with the Arbroath and Fall River: a Scottish junior named Harvey; Felix Reilly from the Sayles Club; Charles McLaughlin, Pete Torrance and Billy Paterson. With the exception of Jock Ferguson, who has returned to the Bethlehem Club, and Fred Morley, transferred to Fall River, all the old Pawtucket players have been retained. The sale of Morley incidentally is the first transaction of such nature to be effected in American League circles.
The Fall River management is apparently satisfied with the players of last season, the following of which have been retained: Tate, Reid, Kemp, McPherson, Lorimer, Brittan, Collier and Orr. The new men are Campbell, Bethlehem; Hibbert, English Leaguer; McKenna, Paterson; Fred Morley, Coats.
The Brooklyn Club has signed three players in Surgenor, Calderwood and W. A. Heathcote, who hail from the famous Scottish and English amateur teams, the Queens Park and Corinthians. Other new players are Alex Edward, Bob Curtis, Tommy Micola, and Jimmy Doherty. Last season's players are Baird, Hogg, Waite, Barr, Cosgrove, Robertson, Moore and Taylor.
Willie Herd and Tommy Dugan have returned to the New York F. C., and they will be helped out by Jack McGuire, Pete Gallagher and Bobby Hesle, the old Todd shipmen. Players re-engaged are Bart McGhee, Willie Crilley, Cushley, Goudert, Meyerdierks, Charlie Kelly and the Stark brothers.
The Bethlehems will show a side that will be much stronger than last season's one, for it has engaged the services of Carson, a goalie, St. Johnstone; Walter Jackson, Kilmaronek; Alec Jackson, Dumbarton; Arthur Robertson, Aberdeen, and Neil Turner. These players are reckoned to be on a par with anything they have in the line of soccer players across the pond. Old favorites who will be back in harness are Goldie, Carnihan, Rattray, Terris, Young, McFarlane, Maxwell, Davy Ferguson, Grainger, Highfield and last, but not least, the old reliable Jock Ferguson.
Philadelphia's list of eligibles includes McLaughlin, Curran, McDonald, Reid, Rundie, Andrews, Fullerton, Bolton, Duncan, Skidmore and Rodgers.
Tommy Murray and Sam Fletcher, two former Bethlehem players, who made quite a name for themselves as members of the Bethlehem-Sweden touring team, will help out the Harrison club, as well as Davy Brown, a couple of junior international players. It is possible that the Harrison club will have the assistance of Forrest and Raeside, of the Bethlehems, as well as McArthur and McKay, two recent Scotch arrivals.