With two games listed over the weekend the Bethlehem Steel Soccer Club is confronted with a hard grind and to place a team of equal strength on the field for each game it is likely that quite a few changes will be seen in the lineup when the Steelmen tackle Newark in their league tilt here on Saturday. While the local management is determined to win from the Jerseymen, nevertheless, the hard game anticipated against Brooklyn on Sunday afternoon cannot be overlooked and some of the strength of the club reserved for this game. However, the reserves have proven quite capable and no matter which players are injected into the lineup, the effectiveness of the team will hardly be weakened.
The soccer game is the only major outdoor attraction in this section of the Lehigh Valley on Saturday afternoon and the Bethlehem-Newark game alone is worthy of a big patronage. However, an added feature is arranged in which the fast going El Dos de Mayo will oppose the American-Portuguese eleven. This game will be started at 1:15 o'clock and will be completed in time for the kickoff of the league game at 2:30.
Each of the teams to appear in the preliminary setto have campaigned extensively this season but few soccer patrons have had the opportunity of seeing them in action. The El Dos de Mayo is an All-Spanish aggregation, the majority of which player are employed at the local plant of the Bethlehem Steel Company. The American-Portuguese team is composed of players also employed at the Steel plant, but most exclusively in the Coke Works department. Included on both teams are players who have had soccer experience before coming to this country.
While interest is manifest in the preliminary game and both teams will be supported by a large flock of rooters, it is the grind in the American Soccer League race in which Bethlehem is in the contending position, that will command the most interest. The Steelmen are trailing New Bedford, the league leader, by a margin of four points. However, the New Englanders have played two more games than Bethlehem so that the latter are virtually on an even basis with them.
Some of the players have shown the effects of the hard campaigning the last several weeks but not to such an extent as to cause the management any undue concern. The chief worriment is centered in the goal position. Edwards assumed the responsibilities last Saturday even through far from being physically fit and as a result Bethlehem's chances of victory were constantly jeopardized. The management apparently realizes the folly of plying an unfit man. For that reason Cecil Brown, arranging his personal matters at his home in Canada preparatory to coming to Bethlehem to remain permanently, was wired to join the team over the weekend without fail.
Brown made a very favorable impression with the management, although he played in goal in but two games. However, those games were against the New York Giants and Fall River, both high scoring elevens, and in neither one did he allow a single goal. Work removing the ice coating on field to assure a dry and fist pitch for Saturday was partly completed yesterday afternoon. Nature did not rest over night. Baring snow the pitch will be in good condition.