On the Top
Thanks to the Brooklyn Wanderers, this morning finds the Bethlehem Steel Soccer Club on the top of the heap in the American Soccer League scramble for the first half season honors. Thanks again to the Brooklyn Wanderers who shattered the deadlock existing between the Steelmen and the Hubmen by taking the Bostonians over for a drubbing in Brooklyn on Sunday afternoon. Bethlehem is topping the circuit the first time this season with the leadership undisputed, by the margin of one game and with only three more games to be played by each of the three contenders -- Bethlehem, Boston and New Bedford -- the two-point margin looms up as big as a mountain. However, the champions are confronted with a grueling grind in that each of the three remaining games must be played away from home and against strong opponents. While Brooklyn shared with Boston in the holiday double-header, the Steelmen went ahead and won both of their games.
Hard to Beat at Home
Brooklyn, although not in an imposing position in the league standing, has nevertheless proven a tough club to defeat on home soil. At Boston on Saturday the Hubmen had little difficulty in winning the laurels but at Brooklyn on Sunday, that game was a different story. Thus far this season the Steelmen have been the only cub unsuccessful in giving Brooklyn a toss on the home grounds and in winning one of the two games played there did so in a manner so decisive as to leave no room for argument.
Slow but Sure
The climb of the Steelmen to the top of the American Soccer League ladder was slow but sure in spite of the early season handicaps experience by the club. Always in a contending position, Bethlehem was unable to reach the top of the league ladder until two weeks ago when the champions went into a deadlock with Boston. Early season experimenting and continued up to several weeks ago was responsible for several of the games lost. One in particular against Newark which was dripped by a team of reserves on the home grounds several weeks ago. However, in spite of these handicaps Bethlehem was never out of the running and held on surprisingly well until the players rounded into better physical condition.
The Second Half Schedule
The second half schedule presents plenty of food for thought and a matter that should be given weighty consideration. Thus far this season the league has been favored with good weather conditions but surely such conditions cannot continue throughout the winter months. With the weather elements to be taken into consideration, together with the play-off series between the champions of each half of the schedule and the two important cup competitions, we do not hesitate to say that it is impossible to play a schedule of 23 games for each team in the second half without infringing on the baseball season. To play such a schedule and take care of all the cup games would probably mean that the season would extend into June and to do so would be nothing less than suicide to the interest and welfare of soccer. This second half schedule has been freely discussed by team mangers who seem unanimous in the opinion that the second half should be cut down to one at home and one away game for each team. With 10 teams in the league, such a schedule would provide for 18 games for each team. The league executives can figure on at least two or three bad weekends, if not more.