No Long Second Best in Soccer
That America is no longer trailing second best in soccer and is at last commanding recognition from the dribbling clientele on the other side of the pond is probably a broad assertion. However, with facts to more or less substantiate the writer feels perfectly safe in making the comparison. There was a time that old countrymen despised soccer in the States. Not with a malicious intent but rather as a brand of football inferior to that which has graced the soccer pitches in Europe for years. It is admitted that the sport is not as extensive with merit of respective teams as flourishing as in England but believed that include in the roster of American League clubs are several that could give the big time Scottish, English or any other first division club a good battle. Since soccer brethren on the other side of the pond have taken recognition of the sport in the States, it would be with little surprise if at the close of this season or surely the season following one or two American teams planned an invasion for an exhibition tour.
The Jacksons Setting Soccer Wild
Last season the Jacksons -- Walter and Alec -- sported the colors of the Bethlehem Steel and both were heralded as peers on the forward line. These same Jacksons decided on a visit to their native heath and with permission of the Steel management went abroad shortly before the opening of the present campaign. When at home conditions were such as to merit their remaining for the time being and the Bethlehem management when apprised of the intention, together with the conditions, was in accord with the action taken by the brothers Jackson in spite of the reports that have been circulating to the contrary and the inroads inflicted on the strength of the Bethlehem team. It simply meant step out and get new talent and in this the local management has been very successful, indicated by the recent acquisition to the club. When the Jacksons return -- if they do -- they will immediately cast their lot with the Steel Workers for under the conditions with which they left for Scotland that could not legally affiliate with any other club. Since reaching home the brothers have become affiliated with Aberdeen, the first division Scottish club and press comments from time to time reaching this country speak most brilliantly of the brothers as forwards. And what have they achieved for Aberdeen? We get it and get it pretty straight that in a total of approximately ten gams the brothers have rolled up something like fourteen goals. Not a bad record by any means for first division soccer. By the success of the Jacksons comparative merit of European and American soccer can well be gleaned.
"A Great Wing"
With apologies to the Evening Times, of Glasgow, we take liberty in printing the comment of a soccer critic in reference to Alec Jackson, which appearing under the caption "A Great Wing" is penned as follows:
"I happened to be in the neighborhood of Pittodrie on the day of a match, and naturally became a spectator. Ere long I came to the conclusion that Scotland this year need not have her usual difficulty about the outside right position for in A. Jackson, Aberdeen has a man fit already for honors. He is fast with good ball control and a sinuous swerve which is very perplexing. It is little wonder that the Bethlehem club in America is -- so I am told -- very sore about his departure. I cannot say I was so much impressed by his brother, but he can score goals which is, after all the primary duty of a center."
If Alec Jackson can go home after his year of experience in American soccer and set Scottish fans wild with his display the game must be pretty near perfect in this country. As for Bethlehem being sore it is only natural that when the brothers departed with the promise to return after a brief visit the Bethlehem management did not take kindly to their action. However, upon being apprised of conditions at home the management instead of condemning the Jackson brothers commended them and the best of relations exist between the former employer and employees. Alec was truly a great player but with the new blood added to the Steel forward line many soccer critics contend that this department is more equally balanced than ever before.
Scouting for Big League Timber
From Fall River comes the gossip that Sam Marks, manager of the soccer club in that city, has harkened to the cry of the Fall River cohorts and is at present on high sea en route for some overseas destination to lamp the first division soccerites in action. Probably Sam has vision of an extended exhibition tour and is headed for Europe to make the arrangement. It is more likely, however, that with the dangerous menace of such clubs as Boston, Bethlehem, Indiana Flooring and several others in the circuit looming on the soccer horizon ready to grab the National honors Manager Marks is headed for reinforcements. Fall River fans are playing money to see soccer and assume the right of demanding only the best. They have spared no feeling in pointing out positions where new talent can well be employed. Marks has a young gold mine in Fall River and probably feeling himself slipping is making the trip to pacify for the time being the hostile fans. Fall River comes to Bethlehem for the Steel Workers next home game and the trip will be prior to the arrival of any reinforcements if such is the intention of the Fall River management.
Sympathies With New Bedford Club
Instead of discouraging soccer in new communities where indications of success are forecast, the American Soccer League, which by action at a recent meeting seems to have done this very thing, should give the underdog, if that term may be applied in the case, a helping hand and boost the club along wherever possible. Reference is made to a recent arrangement of the schedule whereby New Bedford, a new club in the circuit has the sympathy of all American Soccer League fans. Bethlehem was originally scheduled to meet New Bedford and Fall River over the weekend. Fall River didn't want Bethlehem for the second half of the double bill and just because Manager Marks preferred playing some other club Bethlehem was eliminated and New Bedford listed instead. New Bedford is a club new in the league and in the stages of experiment. On the success of this experiment no doubt hangs the retention of New Bedford in the circuit. The league certainly isn't giving New Bedford a helping hand when to satisfy the whim of one of the strongest clubs in the circuit New Bedford is listed for two hard games over the weekend with Fall River the final half of the twin bill.