The Bethlehem F. C., will have another chance of annexing a silver loving cup to the large number of championship trophies already won. This is made known through the announcement that a New York firm has donated a handsome cup which is to go to the winner of the informal international soccer match between the Steel Workers, the United States champions, and a picked team from Canada to be played on Harrison Field, the old home of the Newark Federal League baseball club, at Newark, N. J., next Sunday afternoon.
In collecting cups for soccer matches the Steel Workers have probably been more successful than any other organization in the country and look upon these trophies with great pride. The chances of adding to this collection will not be overlooked and once Manager Sheridan announces that this game is being considered with the same seriousness as an approaching final cup competition match, the cup offer is certain to add still more to the determination to win it. Cups for events of this kind are few and far between while those for other competitions are awarded at the close of each year.
Various features are arranged to com[...]ne with the game but of course the real attraction will be the soccer contest. Frank Kramer, the champion bicycle rider and one of the most popular athletes in that district will kick out the ball to start the game. A large part of the New Jersey bicycle racing following will attend the match, the entire proceeds from which to go the United war Work Fund . Soccer enthusiasts all through the New Jersey and New York district are in a furor over the contest and with slight chances of any of the teams in those districts being able to cope with the champions, will journey to the field expecting to see the pick of the Canadians perform a task other clubs have been unable to do.
All conflicting soccer matches of whatever importance, National championships, A. F. A. cup competitions, and those of lesser caliber have been postponed in deference to the attraction at Harrison Park, which is expected to be quite the biggest thing of the soccer year on this side of the Atlantic. The field is to be decorated with the flags of the United States and the Allied nations.
Harry Dale of Paterson, N. J., has accepted the invitation of the New Jersey State Football Association, to referee the match which is under the U. S. F. A. and Dominion of Canada F. A. auspices and sanction by the National Sports' Committee of the War Work Campaign. The linesmen will be Charles Ward of Passaic, and Andrew Laurie of Newark. All of these officials are heartily approved by the Bethlehem F. C. management who commend them on their exacting work in previous contests.
Canadian soccer experts declare the team could hardly have been stronger in peace times. The eleven men named are for the most part engaged in munitions works, the same as the Steel Workers, and it was with difficulty that their absence over the weekend was obtained. But for the patriotic cause for which the match is to be played, it would not have been possible to arrange the inter-country clash. An international game, Canada vs. United States, was in the making in the 1916-17 season, but was called off on account of the war. Now this game becomes possible on account of the war.
While the Canadians will come here intact with the team selected all in good playing condition, the Steel Workers are a bit concerned over the injuries to "Whitey" Fleming, Fred Pepper and Kirkpatrick and their absence from the lineup would be as noticeable defect in the scientific play adopted by the champions. Practice is continued every day for this match and although the three cripples appear on the field and take light exercise to keep limbered up and in condition, they have taken no part in active playing. However, Manager Sheridan gives the fans the assurance that when the whistle blows for the start of the game against the Canadians Fleming and Kirkpatrick will be at their positions with a fair likelihood that Pepper will also be in the game.
Usually in an important match the soccer team journey to the scene of conflict the day prior in order that they are thoroughly rested and not burdened with a long train ride before the contest. However, because of the short distance from here to Newark and to accompany the large delegation of local fans who are going on the trip, the Steel Workers will not leave here until Sunday morning at 10:45 o'clock which will get them to their destination in plenty of time. The final selection of the Bethlehem Steel lineup will not be determined until shortly before the game and the strongest possible will be presented against the Canadians.
Fletcher and Pepper both played in Canada before coming to Bethlehem and they are of the opinion that we will have the hardest game of the season on our hands on Sunday.
The last Canadian team that visited this country played two games winning one and drawing the other both games were played in St. Louis, against the best in that district.