The Globe-Times -- Bethlehem
December 21, 1927
Race Now On For Winning First half of Schedule -- Three Contenders


Bethlehem, Boston or New Bedford? Which of the three teams will win the championship in the first half of the American Soccer League campaign is a question that soccer critics are trying to determine, for each of the trio has about the same chance, with Bethlehem possibly having the hardest grind. Four of the remaining games are to be played away from home and each against dangerous rivals.

The Steelmen make their final home stand in the only major sports attraction booked in the Lehigh Valley for Saturday, when for the fourth and final time in this half of the schedule Providence will again attempt to test the prowess of the Steelmen.

The champions, ambitious to win the first half of the schedule, can b e expected to be at their best for two points possible on the home grounds can by no means be regarded lightly in view of the fact that the remaining three games to complete the first half will be played in enemy territory.

After Providence, the Steelmen are booked to meet Newark on the latter's grounds on Christmas Monday. And in the Jerseymen, Bethlehem is certain to find a team which inspired by the success over the Steelmen in Bethlehem will be a hard club to stop. It must be remembered that the Jerseymen in addition to trimming Bethlehem that weekend followed up the next day with a blast to the championship aspirations of New Bedford. The other three games away from home will be against the Hubmen, a team with which Bethlehem is today tied for first place, followed by Fall River on the latter's pitch. The nightcap for the first half will be the New York Giants in New York.

Boston's path in the remaining games is by no mans strewn with roses. Over the coming weekend the Hubmen meet Brooklyn at home and in Brooklyn. Relative to the latter game it is of interest to soccer followers that the Steelmen were the only successful club to defeat Brooklyn on its home grounds. Fall River and Newark are the other two games for Boston, both away, before completing its schedule.

Although New Bedford is trailing by two points and with more games played than either Bethlehem or Boston, the Whalers are by no mans out of the race. In fact, New Bedford is as yet a very dangerous contender and will probably be so up to the very last game. New Bedford has the breaks in that the club has three more games against teams that are low in the club standing and of these three games, two will be played at home. The Whaler meet Coats at Coats and then have a return engagement with Coats at New Bedford and Newark, also on the home grounds.

In the event of a tie at the conclusion of the first half of the schedule, the championship will be determined on a goal average basis. In t his respect Boston is slightly ahead of Bethlehem but by piling up goals in their next five games, the Steelmen have an excellent chance to better the Hubmen.

Coats, with half a dozen injured players, is hard pressed for regulars and this week the Steelmen went to the aid of the threadmakers when Jimmy McConnell, Bethlehem forward, was loaned to the Pawtucket Club, subject to recall at any moment.

It was also learned Hugh McLaughlin a back who joined the club recently was given his unconditional release and is a free agent.

Bethlehem Steel Soccer Club