Eliminating Contenders in National Cup
By the process of elimination, there are only thirty-two teams left to compete in the National Cup soccer competition after Saturday's game, with Bethlehem still in the fracas and chances of retaining hold on the trophy looming brighter with each game. Following the two consecutive defeats in the National League contests many soccer critics contended that the champions were slipping but the showing against New York Ship on Saturday dispelled all fear entertained by local followers. Bethlehem played in true championship style and by defeating the Shipbuilders eliminated one of the most dangerous contenders for the honors. Immediately after the game "Billy" Sheridan guiding the destinies of the local contingent, remarked, "I was pleased by the way Bethlehem staged a comeback, particularly with the playing in the second half of the game and I am strongly of the belief that if the team continues to work with the same machine-like precision and forget about individualizing their play, Bethlehem will retain its hold on the National cup. The Shipbuilders were really a surprise and I feel safe in saying it was a stronger combination than any of the Philadelphia clubs Bethlehem has faced this year. A break, such as Bethlehem suffered in losing the two National League games was bound to come, and fortunately it came in the league competitions. It was only natural that after the long string of consecutive victories hung up by the champions that the stride must be broken sometime. They are gradually assuming their former pace and if not successful in capturing the coveted soccer honors will be a source of trouble to all opponents." "The addition of Robert Sibbald, the Shipbuilding draftsman and former Scottish star," continued Sheridan, "has greatly strengthened the team. He has not yet shown his real form, due to his long lay off, but his playing in the two games with Bethlehem gives promise of making him as one of the best wing men in the country. His debut on the home field on Saturday was successful. His crossing was accurate and well timed and his work in general was as good as seen here in a long time." The older players apparently had not placed full confidence in the abilities of the new comer for during the first half he was almost completely ignored by his teammates. However, in the final session when he was handed something by other members of his clan, he began to shine and gave an exhibition of his real work. Bethlehem was also handicapped by the absence of its captain, James Campbell, who on the Swedish trip was probably the most brilliant performer with the tourists. His playing abroad was nothing less than marvelous and by duplicating those performances in America during the coming season was predicted to earn the rating as the peer of the center halfbacks. Campbell has not been any too well since the return from abroad and was compelled to remain on the bench on Saturday owing to illness. His absence is surely regretted and his teammates are looking forward to his speedy recovery so that he can take his usual position. Tommy Murray, who filled in at the center halfback position played a bang-up game, giving an excellent display of soccer. Additional strength to the team is expected with Thore Sundberg, the Swede star, who will assume a place in the lineup probably next Saturday when Bethlehem will most likely meet the winner of the Haledon-Thistle vs. Federal Ship in the fourth round American cup. According to the players who saw the Swede in action across the pond, he ranks as the leading forward in Sweden and should add greatly to the scoring strength of the champions. Sundberg played with the All-Sweden team, the club that opposed Bethlehem in its final game abroad in which the Americans emerged the victor by the score of 3 goals to 2. The previous year he played on the All-Sweden team that opposed the strong combination brought to Sweden from England.
Soccer Fans Becoming More Enthused
A mere handful of soccer fans, a crowd not near befitting the excellent reputation established by the Steel Workers were gathered in Bethlehem Steel field on Saturday afternoon. A good many sports followers apparently did not realize the importance the honors garnered by the Steel Workers and that they have given Bethlehem a berth among the list of American champions. However, what the crowd lacked in number was fully made up in enthusiasm and it is doubtful if ever the players were cheered more lustily. The effect of this encouragement was plainly visible on the layers for their response was a style of play with greater determination.