On the eve of a New England invasion for a game at New Bedford, Mass., and which trip will terminate in New York against Indiana Flooring, the physical condition of the Bethlehem soccer team, league leaders and national champions, is anything but normal.
Injuries and illness continue to play havoc with the champions and it will be with difficulty that the management will find available for these two teams eleven men who are physically fit for the two grueling contests anticipated.
Conditions may force the management to press Archie Stark, goal scoring forward, into action although under other circumstances the brilliant front liner would probably be rested up for another week. Stark was injured in a collision in the Brooklyn game last Saturday and for a time it was feared that his injuries would keep him on the bench for a good long while.
The injury was sustained to his knee, X-ray examination failed to reveal any broken bones and during the week the injury responded rapidly to the treatment, Stark is anxious to play and will make the trip with the club.
Johnny Granger, dashing inside right, is a victim of more than the usual share of hard luck. Under the weather almost all season he was pressed into service in several games. In his last start he tore a ligament in his shoulder. This week Granger, far from recovered from his previous injury, was taken ill with the grippe and is confined to his home.
The two games mean much to Bethlehem for it just about represents their lead in the American Soccer League race. Disastrous results in both of these games would jeopardize the standing of the club in its first place hold.
The injured players are displaying an excellent spirit in spite of the jinx that has been trailing the team. This spirit is exemplified in their willingness to play in spite of physical handicaps. The return of Johnny Rollo after an absence of a month or more will help out on the front line. Rollo will probably go back to his old position at inside left with Forrest shifting over to inside right in the event that Stark goes to center forward. If not Forrest will more than likely be given a rest in one of the two weekend games.