Taking cognizance of the Bethlehem soccer team as a national and international advertising medium, Henry J. Mack, president of the Chamber of Commerce, and W. H. Scott, president of the South Side Businessmen’s Association, urge local businessmen to lay aside all cares and worries on New Year’s Day and join in making it a gala occasion in paying tribute to the national champions with a visit to Lehigh Field, when Bethlehem meets New Bedford, the latter American Cup champions, in an American Soccer League game.
In a headline on Wednesday it was inadvertently stated that New Bedford was leaving the league, whereas it is Springfield that is to disband.
In an interview with Mr. Mack this morning, the latter stated that there are few holidays falling on a Saturday and as a result little opportunity for local merchants to attend the games. However, with the majority if not all the business houses closed on New Year’s Day afternoon, he is of the opinion that it is an excellent opportunity on which the business people can pay their respects to the local clan of booters in recognition of the brilliant exploits of the team.
“Many of the merchants probably do not realize what a boon the Bethlehem soccer team is as an advertising medium to this city. Its reputation is not confined locally but covers an international scope and is as widely known as any of the traditional institutions of the city.” Mr. Mack continued quite lengthy expounding the merits of the famous soccer aggregation and voiced the opinion that he hoped businessmen would take advantage of the opportunity of seeing the game and make the occasion a “businessman’s day.”
President Scott of the South Side Businessmen’s Association, has appealed to the members of that organization by letter urging them to attend a tribute of appreciation in recognition of the excellent team this city can boast of.
For a “businessmen’s day,” the local management could hardly have arranged a more interesting attraction for the league contest will bring together two clubs that last year won championship honors. Bethlehem, as is well known, won the National championship with its brilliant victory over the Ben Millers while New Bedford galloped victorious through the American Cup competition to annex the H. E. Lewis trophy.
And both teams are presenting probably stronger lineups this year than they did in annexing the honors. This is evident by the commanding position of the rivals in the American Soccer League race. Bethlehem is topping the circuit with a comfortable margin in points and percentage. New Bedford is gradually creeping to the fore as a dangerous contender and is now in third position, tied with Fall River.
There is probably no other club in the circuit against which Bethlehem is more determined for a victory than New Bedford. For some reason or other a rivalry equal to that between Fall River and Bethlehem has developed with New Bedford, possibly inspired when the New Englanders signed Sturdy Maxwell and several other former locals. That interest in this respect will not be lacking is evident by the hard and grueling play of previous encounters.
Stark and Gillespie will be back on the forward line for Bethlehem, is the positive word from Bethlehem headquarters this morning. Meaning that with Gillespie at center forwards and Stark at inside right the local club will be out to score all the goals it can.
A similar shift in position is likely on the New Bedford forward line. Stevens, the scoring ace of the New England delegation is quite likely to be played at an inside berth. This is forecast with the announcement from New Bedford of the signing of Emerson, a Scottish junior star, heralded as a find and a center forward.