“League obligations first,” is the attitude of the Bethlehem soccer team, national champions, in considering the many invitations received for exhibition games from clubs in all parts of the country. During the past week, the club has been showered with propositions for exhibition games, attesting to their popularity, and while many of these will have to be refused, it is intimated that where there is no conflict with league or cup activities, some games will be played.
Bethlehem is leading the American Soccer League game by a secure margin, but by no means a lead that indicates certainty in capturing the league honors. It is realized that the club cannot be careless if it is to retain the topmost position, and for that reason little attention is being paid at the present time to the many invitations for exhibition games. At the close of the second half of the schedule, which is January 10, the status of the teams and the final outcome of the league race will be more definitely decided.
The Steelmen have many hard games yet to be played, one of which will be staged on the home field on Saturday afternoon, when the Brooklyn club comes here. The field has been cleared of snow and every effort made to have the pitch dry and fast.
In speaking of the exhibition games, the management admitted there are four that hold out especial inducements. Big guarantees have been offered to play these games, and since big finances are needed to maintain a team of the caliber of Bethlehem, it is deemed advisable to step out and play some of them.
The games being favorably considered at this time are with the Sparta Club of Chicago, a selected team from the Detroit Soccer League, the Galicia F. C., a Spanish team, to be played probably in Brooklyn, and a team recruited in Baltimore, Md. The latter game will probably be played the latter part of this month.
If Bethlehem continues the dizzy pace established in the league race thus far, the national champions are certain to be flooded with many more invitations.