James Brannigan, the St. Louis soccer player who came to Bethlehem early in the season with a reputation of being a big league ball player in addition to an expert exponent of the soccer art, with Henry P. McCarthy, manager of the St. Louis Screw Co. F. C., was suspended on Thursday from organized football pending the action of the National Commission of the U. S. F. A. because of the violation of the rules when last Sunday Brannigan, who is still signed played for McCarthy's eleven against the Innis Falls F. C., in the St. Louis Professional Soccer League. Thomas W. Cahill, secretary of the U. S. F. A., announced the suspension after wiring Winston E. Barker, president of the Missouri Soccer Association, informing him of the step and dispatching formal notices to the player and his manager.
Brannigan's violation of the rules is most glaring and will be met with a heavy penalty of suspension. Early in the season he came to Bethlehem and remained her for several weeks, during which time he played second base in one or two baseball games for the Steel Workers. When the soccer season opened he practiced several days with the squad and when he was not immediately signed he became peeved and signed with the Merchant F. C. at Harriman, N. J. After a few weeks he received his release on his promise to return to St. Louis. The shipyard management insists Brannigan gave his word that he would not sign up for any club in the east this season. Yet within a week or two he signed for the Morse Dry Dock team and played several games for them.
Brannigan left suddenly for St. Louis ten days ago, with the excuse that he was homesick. It is said that he received $21 a day for his work in the Morse Dry Docks and on the soccer field. Officials of the club report that Brannigan had not been given his release and that he telegram he showed last Sunday, purporting to release him, had been faked for the occasion. Even had he been released his playing would have been illegal. For as a professional player he would not only have to sign a professional form for the St. Louis club but that form would have to be forwarded to the national secretary for registration and a stub from it, denoting registration, returned to and received by McCarthy before he would be eligible to play again.
Connie Mack's sterling infield of years ago had little if anything on the crowd of soccer experts Manager Sheridan of the Bethlehem F. C. has surrounded himself with. It appears as though there is nothing in the soccer line that can halt the victorious pace of the Steel Workers and that they will again be returned champions.
At Todd's field, New York, the Robin's Dry Dock and Paterson eleven played their U. S. F. A. cup tie game, and when the game was abandoned, sixteen minutes before time, the score stood at 2 goals to 1, in favor of Paterson. As the match was started thirty minutes late, the Robins team played under protest, and it is possible the match will have to be replayed next Sunday.