The Philadelphia Centennials, Eastern Soccer League representatives in the Quaker City, will entertain Bethlehem in a league game on Saturday afternoon. And for the Bethlehem invasion the "Cents" promise to field the strongest club of the season.
When the Philadelphia club was organized Bethlehem quite literally transferred a bevy of its booters to that team and the inclusion of these men brought the club to a par with other teams and in fact stronger than some of the league members.
The "Cents" have since further strengthened their forces and one of the most recent acquisitions is said to be Matthew Shortt, a center halfback, who sported the colors of the Brooklyn Wanderers in the American League.
The inclusion of the Wanderer halfback will materially strengthen a position which was weakened when Willie Barrie, former Bethlehem player, jumped his contract to play with New Bedford. Of the two players it is believed that Shortt is the most seasoned and will be of more value to the team.
Physically the Bethlehem team is handicapped at this time and a grueling game forecast for Saturday is certain to have a marked effect on the club with its decidedly limited supply of reserve talent. Johnny Rollo, wing forward, whose playing on the left side has been a strong asset to the success of the team, will hardly be able to don his uniform for another two weeks. Rollo was injured in a previous engagement against Hakoah and the injury is slow to respond.
With Rollo out of the lineup it may be necessary to make some drastic changes in the forward line. Jaap, an outside and inside right, will no doubt be again shifted to the left wing and Joe Mulhall, recently recalled from Newark, will most likely play in Jaap's regular position.
The halfback line with MacGregor, Carnihan and Reid in fairly good shape, will be intact but there is considerable concern relative to the choice for backs. "Bill" Allan clearly demonstrated in the Giants game here last Saturday that he is not in condition and unless his injured knee has much improved during the week he will be fortunate if he stands up under the test of one of the two games. Matt Wilson is playing a sparkling game at right halfback and his partner against the Phillies on Saturday may be the veteran Jock Ferguson with Allen rested up for the Sunday game with Hakoah.