Champions will clash in Lehigh Field, formerly the Bethlehem Steel Company athletic field, on Saturday afternoon when Bethlehem, national soccer champions, meets Fall River, American Soccer League champions, in one of the most important home contest this season. When these teams last met Fall River won 2 to 1.
For this game Bethlehem has been priming and after the brisk workout with Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon, in which the league leaders continued their streak of wins, will be in fine shape to meet the league champions in a game that will have a material bearing in the American Soccer League race. Bethlehem has defeated every team but Fall River so far.
Bethlehem has piled up a substantial lead, topping Boston and Fall River, the contending clubs, by a margin of two games. However, a victory over Fall River, one of the most dangerous clubs in the circuit, would mean a more secure hold on the top position.
With many new players to try out, Fall River experienced an early season similar to that of Bethlehem last season and dropped quite low in the club standing by experimenting with new men and before a winning combination was determined. Since then, however, the Marksmen are making a gallant fight to overcome the lost ground and the campaigning of the club in recent games has been equally as sensational as that of Bethlehem.
Taking account of the players available for Saturday’s game Bethlehem will be able to field its strongest club. Archie Stark is thoroughly recovered from his illness and will probably get into the game. If he does he will play at inside right and Gillespie, who starred at center forward during the indisposition of the brilliant Bethlehem goal scorer, will be retained at that position.
In defeating Philadelphia on Thursday it was not without a cost to the Bethlehem team. Billy Allen, the dashing back, injured his leg and is not expected to start. The backs will probably be Barrie and Eadie. In submitting the tentative lineup the name of McDonald is not included, Rankin being listed in the position usually held down by the blond topped halfback. McDonald is probably ready to substitute but not quite fully recovered from his injury to go the full game.
Unusual interest is manifest in the clash since Fall River will invade Bethlehem with one of the finest arrays of big league talent seen here this season. The forward line will have Campbell and Kennedy on one wing with Croft and White on the other. Patterson will play center forward. Since Fall River’s last visit here there have been many changes in the lineup. The players likely to start are:
Bethlehem – Fall River
Edwards – G -- Blair
Barrie – RFB -- McGill
Eadie – LFB – Gibson
Rankin – RHB – McPherson
Carnihan – CHB -- Wilson
MacGregor – LHB -- Coyle
Jaap – OR -- Campbell
Granger or Stark – IR -- Kennedy
Gillespie – CF -- Patterson
Forrest – IL -- Croft
Goldie – OL -- White