The Globe -- Bethlehem
Friday, June 1, 1923
Coat's Team Deliberately Passes Up Game Here Tomorrow With Steel Crowd

Soccer fans in Bethlehem who were all set for the big clash on Steel Field tomorrow afternoon between Bethlehem F. C. and J & P Coats will be sorely disappointed with the announcement that the game is called off simply because the Rhode Island clan refuse to come to Bethlehem for the game and have notified the Bethlehem management to that effect.

Just what action will be taken by the league executives is not known but surely with the stringent restrictions drawn up in the league by-laws to prevent just such disappointments, the punishment to be meted out should be severe.

It was thoroughly understood that on the outcome of the two games in which Coats was to participate this weekend rested the laurels of the American Soccer League with Bethlehem having a chance of tying with the Pawtucket contingent.

In accordance with the rules of the American Soccer League, J & P Coats forfeits the points of the game tomorrow which leaves the club with one point lead over Bethlehem in the race. Also is forfeited a fine of $250 for failing to go through with the schedule. However, it leaves the team with but one game to play, that with Paterson on Sunday afternoon, and in the event of a draw or victory, coats would still retain the championship.

It is understood that when the two games over the weekend were arranged two or more weeks ago sentiment at Coats was against coming to Bethlehem. However, no definite word, it is believed, was received of this action until yesterday when the local management was informed by telegram that the Coats team would not be here.

While the rules of the league call for the forfeit of the points and the fine, some other action might be taken due to the importance of the games at stake. It might be that Coats will be compelled to play the game as scheduled or as well as automatically losing the points of the game, lose the title. The refusal will probably be taken as an acknowledgment of superior merit and the title awarded to Bethlehem.

Late this afternoon one of the officials of the local club announced that a wire had been received from Coats stating: "We will not be in Bethlehem on Saturday," but since they have kept the wires hot between here and Pawtucket and New York, the latter in communication with Thomas W. Cahill, secretary of the organization, in hopes that the latter could effect a compromise and force Pawtucket to come here. "We have not heard anything to the opposite at this time and maybe Coats may at the last minute reconsider and decide to make the trip. However, in justice to our supporters we feel that we should make the announcement today so that no unnecessary trip is made to the field."

Bethlehem Steel Soccer Club