The Globe -- Bethlehem
December 10, 1923
A Swing Along Athletic Row

Tight Race in American Soccer League
Soccer is going bigger than ever before. Thousands total the attendance at the games played in the New England, New York and New Jersey districts while the attendance in Bethlehem which as yet is limited to hundreds is better this season than it has been for the last several seasons back. Gratifying is the increase noted in the ranks of soccer enthusiasts at each game, indicating that it will not be long probably before the attendance at Bethlehem games will rival that in other districts. And why the great interest manifest this season? The answer is probably found in the fight of the leading contenders for honors resulting in a close and spirited race. Such happens to be the case in the American Soccer League where the margin of difference between the three leading clubs -- New York F. C., Fall River and Bethlehem F. C. -- is scarcely more than one point.

Outcome of the Game Very Uncertain
That the outcome of a soccer game is generally very uncertain and often times assisted by the breaks of the sport the lowliest of the teams come through for a victory over the mightiest, is indicated in the weekend pastiming when the Philadelphia F. C. counted their first victory of the season on Saturday afternoon. This triumph was not achieved over a runner-up for the honors, but over the New York F. C., the leading club in the league race. The game played in Philadelphia was one of the most drastic upsets of the season thus far and was won by the Phillies by a score of 1 goal to none. Up to that time New York had tasted the sting of defeat but once and that was administered by the Bethlehem team. On the other hand the New York F. C. enjoys the distinction of being the only team to defeat the Bethlehems in the league race thus far this season.

Well Started on a Winning Stride
By taking two games from the Newark club over the weekend, Bethlehem not only improved its standing in the American league race, but likewise continued its string of consecutive victories which now total in the neighborhood of eight or nine. This stride has been maintained through several rounds of cup competitions and in the league battles and includes victories over such teams as New York, Brooklyn and the National Giants. Fall River and J & P Coats, each a club with a galaxy of former Bethlehem stars and topnotchers in the club standing, have as yet not appeared in Bethlehem but are the only teams in the American League which will shortly make their first visit to the Steel field. Fall River, although second in the league standing by virtue of having played fewer games, is continuing its dizzy pace in the league race as well as the cup ties and in the former have yet their first sting of defeat to taste. It is the only undefeated club in the league although the team has been held to amore tie games than any of the other clubs. Fall River over the weekend defeated Brooklyn by the close score of 3 goals to 2.

Youngsters Pleasingly Entertain
Early arrivals for the Bethlehem-Newark soccer game on Saturday afternoon were pleasingly entertained by the display of soccer given by the youngsters of Liberty High school in their one-sided victory over Catasauqua High. It was really surprising the excellent understanding apparent in the play of the Bethlehem youngsters and this thorough knowledge of the sport can probably be attributed to the interest the boys take and the excellent coaching of "Bill" Stark, who for years was associated with the Bethlehem F. C. as its trainer. The game was really interesting and the clever display of the Bethlehem youngsters frequently earned the plaudits of the fans.

Bethlehem Steel Soccer Club