The soccer season of 1923-24 got away with a bang in all sections of the country. The steady grown which has marked the game for the past five years seems to have developed almost along boom lines. This was clearly indicated in the pre-season exhibition games which drew bigger paid attendances than marked the cup finals of ten years ago.
One of the most troublesome problems the office of the Secretary of the United States Football Association has to deal with is an altogether confused idea that seems to exist as to the difference between an amateur and a professional. Some one started a report that a Scotch or English player, coming to this country, could sign on as an amateur here, even though he had been born a professional on the other side and christened in an international cap. The idea, is of course, ridiculous. IT would be just as fair to say that if a professional moved from Pawtucket to Providence or from Boston to Holyoke, or from St. Louis to Chicago, the change of field would wipe out his professional history and make a "Simon Pure" out of him.
Nevertheless, professionals and especially the new arrivals from Scotland, keep signing amateur forms or professional forms just as they are presented, apparently thinking it a matter of no consequence. The excuse generally offered is that they did not know the rules on this side.
The resolution passed at the last meeting of the Council of the United States Football Association decreeing that the winner of the National Amateur Cup should be chose as the Olympic team has caused considerable confusion. It is understood, of course, that every member of the team must be an American citizen, that having been made clear by Ex-President Healey in putting the motion. In some sections of the country it seems to be difficult to make up a team of championship caliber that would not contain one or more foreign born or unnaturalized members, and because of this they have shown a disinclination to enter the Amateur Cup Competition at all because even if they won the Cup, they could not win the further reward of being sent to France.
Nevertheless, the National Amateur Cup Competition closed at midnight, Thursday, October 25th with 81 entries as against 68 last year. The increase is really more marked than the figures would indicate, for the resolution adopted at the last meeting of the Council decreeing that the winning team in the amateur championship would represent this country in the Olympic games kept more teams out than it brought in.
The plan of selection the team was presented to the Executive Committee of the American Olympic Committee held at the Hotel Astor, New York City, October 25th and was approved with the proviso that every game in the competition must be declared and advertised an "Olympic Game Tryout." This harmonizes the plan with the policy of the American Olympic Committee to select the American athletes to go to France by the competitive and elimination system.