A crucial period for the Bethlehem soccer team in the American Soccer League race will be experienced this week with two games to be played and each against a dangerous opponent. The appetizer to the week’s program will be presented in the Quaker City on Thursday afternoon (Thanksgiving Day) when the Bethlehems tackle Philadelphia on the latter’s’ scalping grounds. “Scalping grounds” is an appropriate term for the Quaker’s home field, for few teams have journeyed to Philadelphia for league games and left with the points.
For some reason or other the Phillies play their stellar game at home and any club in the league can expect a hard battle. Most all of the Phillies victories have been annexed on the home grounds. Bethlehem journeys to Philadelphia with a substantial lead in the league race. However, a defeat at the hands of the Philadelphians would seriously threaten their hold. Especially so with Fall River in Bethlehem on Saturday afternoon.
It is the Fall River game here on Saturday that the fans are making the most ado about. The Marksmen are now tied with Boston for second place in the league standings, having graduated from sixth position in the brief period of three weeks. Too much experiment at the start of the season proved disastrous to the league champions but now the club seems to have struck its stride.
The Bethlehem Boosters are going to hold a smoker on Friday night to pep up the team and the patrons. The players will be the guests. This pregame entertainment is an innovation and on the success of this occasion will hinge whether or not others are to follow.
The visit of Fall River here means the second clash of the National and League champions in Bethlehem. Earlier in the season the Marksmen took the number of the home clan at Fall River and were one of the two teams that have achieved a victory over the National champions this year. Indiana was the other club but Bethlehem has since avenged their setback.
Anyone familiar with the makeup of the two teams can fully appreciate that no win is more cherished than that over one another. Bethlehem has had rivals but it is safe not that have imbued the spirited feeling prevalent with these foes meet. Perhaps the raid of Bethlehem players by Fall River several years ago is responsible for the rivalry.
In hopes of winning the Steelmen will be fortunate in being able to field its strongest club. It is understood that Stark, center forward, is fully recovered from his attack of gripe and will be back in his regular position. Whitey McDonald, too, is expected back in the fold together with the certainly that Bill Carnihan will be at center half.
Fall River was one of the first home games for Bethlehem. Recalling that game, Bethlehem had much the better of the playing, but the final numerals showed a scoreless tie. Then Bethlehem journeyed to Fall River to lose by the score of 2 to 1. The winning goal in that game was a penalty kick. Fall River has a leg on the National champions, and it is to equalize matters that Bethlehem determined to win on Saturday.