Two hours after a satisfactory guarantee was received from the St. Louis Soccer Association, Manager Sheridan had his soccer players lined up for the trip to St. Louis. This coming so shortly after the proposed trip to the Pacific coast was called off created quite a surprise in soccerdom and all eyes will be centered on the Middle West awaiting the result of the meeting of the St. Louis teams with the champions. For some time Bethlehem has been anxious to invade St. Louis but according to Manager Sheridan the guarantees offered were not sufficient to cover the expense. When the wire closing the negotiations was received yesterday, a reply was immediately forwarded stating that the team would leave this city at 4 o'clock on the same afternoon.
Bethlehem was scheduled to play two games in the East during this period, one on Saturday afternoon and the other on New Year Day. Both were to be exhibitions and there was keen disappointment when wires were received by these managers stating that the contests were off. For some time George Bowe, manager of the New York Ship team, was angling for a game with Bethlehem to be staged on neutral grounds. The manager of the Shipbuilders contended that his team gave the champions the hardest run this season and that if a game could be arranged on neutral grounds the Rivet-makers had a good chance of victory. It is understood that this game was to be played in Philadelphia on New Year Day. Bethlehem was also to meet Merchant Team A at Harriman, N. J. on Sunday, in a National League match, but this contest has been called off.
Never before in the history of soccer was a team in as much demand as the champions are this season. After the game with the pick of the Canadian players, efforts were made to induce the champions to travel to the Pacific coast. This trip was all but closed when for the reason of the vast expense that would be incurred, it was called off. However, it is most likely that if the team cleans up on the trip to St. Louis, the Frisco trip will come later in the season. According to Manager Sheridan he has been showered with telegrams all season from teams throughout the country and if he accepted all challenges the team would in all probability be playing almost every day. The champions have gone through thus far this season without a defeat and are again headed for the honors captured last year, when they were returned the undisputed double champions of the United States. All teams are anxious to get into a game with them in hopes of being the first squad to score a victory. St. Louis is a mecca for soccer and many of the most prominent players in the game were developed in that city. Of the Bethlehem aggregation, Harry Ratican, the star center forward, started his career in soccer in St. Louis, that city also being his home. Bob Millar, the veteran player, who although well advanced in years, is still dazzling the fans with his wonderful performances on the field, has also played in St. Louis. The return of these stars is sure to be welcomed and the largest crowds that ever attended soccer games are expected to see the champions in action.