The Globe -- Bethlehem
Wednesday, October 13, 1926
A Swing Along Athletic Row

Cancelling International Game
Soccer fans will not take kindly to the action of the Indiana Flooring Club and subsequent action of the American Soccer League in refusing to sanction the international soccer clash scheduled between Bethlehem, national champions, and the Sparta Club, champions of Czecho-Slovakia. The game was scheduled to take place in New York City on October 31, an off date in the schedule of the Bethlehem team. In protesting against the game the Indiana management alleged infringement of territory rights and also a conflict with a game to be played by Indiana on that date. Bethlehem's interest in the game was inspired by a true spirit of sportsmanship rather than any other motive, and the refusal of the league to sanction the contest came as a big surprise. In the past it has been the policy of soccer interest to encourage games of an international aspect as a means of adding impetus to the development of the sport. As an illustration, the invasion and tour of the Hakoah team and games played in and around the metropolitan district did more to increase the ranks of soccer enthusiasts in this country than any other tour. The Vienna team being a Jewish aggregation, the New Yorkers of that race responded en masse and gave soccer its record attendance. Among the clientele who witnessed these games were perhaps thousands who had never before attended a contest, turning out in pure loyalty to the tourists, but now converted into dyed-in-the-wool fans. The Sparta name would undoubtedly have had the same influence.

As A Matter of Comparison
Frequently it is asked whether soccer in this country has developed to an equal status so far as playing merit is concerned with that of European countries where soccer is the national sport. Here was a chance to make such a comparison and just because Indiana doesn't want it, the league executives come along and deliver the blow. Bethlehem, winner of the National championship, was the logical opponent to meet the Sparta booters. It is not believed that Indiana is going to make friends by the action, apparently inspired by selfish motives. Efforts of the Bethlehem management to reach a compromise have been futile thus far, Mr. Vieberg, who is interested in the Indiana Club, refusing to listen to any proposition. It will undoubtedly be of interest to New York soccer followers to note that the New York Giants and Brooklyn Wanderers, both representatives of the Metropolitan District, voted in favor of the game.

Sam Fletcher and His Fletcherites
It was Sam Fletcher that confided to one of the players of the Bethlehem team that the Steel Workers were the sweetest looking soccer club in the American Soccer League. Sam mad this assertion after Bethlehem journeyed to Providence and bowled over the Whalers by the score of 3 to 1. This same Sam will be a visitor in this city on Saturday, the former Bethlehem fullback bringing his Providence clan here to do battle against Bethlehem. Sam is coming on with the one hope of dumping the Steelmen. Any club that can score a victory over Bethlehem has a chance of copping the flag. That is the way Fletcher and the majority of clubs feel, now that Bethlehem has gotten away to the lead in the soccer league race.


1926-1927
Bethlehem Steel Soccer Club