The stellar athletic attraction in Bethlehem on Saturday will be the meeting of the Bethlehem F. C., and Merchant A. A. team in the second round of the National Cup competition. The Merchant A. A. team from Bristol is the same organization that on Saturday defeated the star aggregation of ship league players, including the wonderful Tommy Swords of the New York Ship, by three goals to two. This game will be a most important one on the Steel Workers schedule and the one that is anticipated will give the Steel Workers the hardest fight. Soccer prophets claimed that the winner of this contest will be the United States soccer champions for this season.
The Merchants have a great combination, including in their lineup H. Pearce, the great goaltender, Todd, the former Queens Park right back; Small formerly of Disstons and Hemminsley the clever International center forward, who played a big part in the defeat of the Steel Workers by West Hudson in the National League last season.
"Defeat Bethlehem" is the slogan at Bristol and nothing could better illustrate just how anxious the Merchants are to accomplish the feat than the offer of Manager Wilson to present the players with gold watches, if they return victorious.
In the dressing room at Harrison, N. J., after the game on Sunday the officials of the Sportsmans Association of Canada presented the Bethlehem team with a Canadian flag on behalf of the Mayor of Toronto, and at the same time challenged Bethlehem to a return game in Toronto, the proceeds to go to a charitable object. "Purely Canadian." The Bethlehem management immediately accepted and if present plans materialize, the game will be played on Toronto University Stadium on Saturday, November 30th.
"Billy" Forrest, played a great game Sunday for the Steel workers at inside left, scoring two goals and taking part in every attack.
It is a big task to live up to the Bethlehem Standard of half back play and Graham is to be congratulated for the good showing he made in his initial appearance at left half on Sunday.
The greatest weakness of the Bethlehem forwards is their over-anxiety. Twelve times during the game they were called up for offside, while the visitors were not penalized during the whole game. McKelvey, who otherwise played a brilliant game was the chief offender in this respect.
Despite his anxiety to play against the Canadians, Harry Ratican , showed good judgment and unselfishness when he stated before the game that he was unable to do justice to ether the team or himself on account of his weakened condition due to recent illness.
Easton who took Ratican's place at short notice was in his element in the rain and mud. On a heavy field the "St. Louis" Scotchman has few rivals.