Philadelphia Soccer History

Philly Soccer 100: League play continues, Bethlehem wins first American Cup match

After the opening of play in Philadelphia’s Pennsylvania League, Allied American League, United League, American League, and Philadelphia Junior League on Oct. 4, 1913, play in the city’s Cricket Club League and Northeast Junior League commenced on Oct. 11. The schedule also saw the beginning of first round play in the American Cup.

Bethlehem wins first American Cup round

Bethlehem, the reigning Allied League first division champions, made their tournament debut in the 1913-14 American Cup with a commanding 5-1 road win over the Pennsylvania League’s Wissinoming FC. The Inquirer reported on Oct. 12 that Wissinoming was “out-played from the beginning” by the fast combination play of “the up-staters.”

Hibs remain undefeated

The sole game of the city’s professional Pennsylvania league featured Hibernian against Victor. Both team’s had started off league play on the right foot, with Hibs downing Wissinoming 4-0 and Victor prevailing 5-2 over Tacony.

At their home grounds at Second and Allegheny, Hibs was again the stronger team, defeating the visitors 2-0. The Inquirer reported on Oct. 12, “The inability of the Victor forwards to grasp opportunities of scoring when such came their way was in the main responsible for the defeat.”

Allied League

Only one first division game took place in the Allied American League on opening day, with Smith AA defeating Peabody, 2-1. In Week Two, Peabody bounced back with a 2-1 win over Reading at Washington Park, located at 26th and Allegheny, while Smith lost 1-0 to Wilmington’s Irish Americans. West Philadelphia kicked off their 1913-14 season with a commanding 4-1 win over Falls with center forward Liggett scoring all of West Philadelphia’s goals. Disston defeated Kensington, 3-1, at Tacony Ball Park.

Putnam 1913-14

Putnam 1913-14

In second division play, the previous week’s opening games of the season had seen the winning teams outscore their opponents 21 to 3. The second week of play saw some reversals in fortune. Windsor had run up a big 7-0 win over Hope Lodge on opening day only to draw 2-2 in Week Two with Manchester Unity in what the Inquirer described on Oct. 12 as “a finely played game.” Fairhill had defeated Chester’s Linwood Hibernians 7-0 to start the season. Playing at home in Week Two, Linwood managed a 0-0 draw against Wanderers. At 22nd and Huntingdon, Fairhill fell 2-1 to Putnam, the only team with full points after two weeks of play. Putnam had brushed aside Marcus Hook 4-0 the opening week and Marcus Hook responded with a 4-1 win over Hope Lodge in Week Two.

No third division games were scheduled for Oct. 11.

American League

The full slate of American League games was played on Oct. 11, 1913. Philadelphia Electrics, popularly know as “the Live Wires,” made it two wins in a row with a 2-1 victory over Cardington. The Inquirer described on Oct. 12, “Both teams played flashy football and showed excellent combination.”

Victor Athletics, who had fallen 5-0 to “the Live Wires” in their opening game, handily defeated Frankford Boys’ Club 5-2 at Frankford and Montgomery. Center forward Foster scored four of Victor AA’s goals.

The opening day match between Kensington Boys’ Club and Rangers had been postponed when the teams arrived at the field only to find a baseball game in progress. Both teams made no mistake in Week Two with Kensington “swamping” Victoria Plush Mills with seven unanswered goals at Front and Erie and Rangers topping home team Whitehall Rovers, 3-0, at Bridge Street and Torresdale. Winless Whitehall had given up seven goals in their first two games of the season while scoring only two, although this was nothing compared to Victoria, who were also winless after allowing 16 goals in the first two games of the season while scoring only two.

Cardington FC, 1913-14

Cardington FC, 1913-14

United League

Six matches took place in the United League. Kensington Boys’ Club had started the season with a 7-1 thrashing of Bristol, but could only manage a 2-2 draw against Christ Church in Week Two. Roxborough United had crushed La Mott 7-0 on opening day but drew 1-1 with American FC in Week Two. Bristol bounced back from their embarrassing opening day defeat with a big 5-0 win over Cardington USS, and La Mott recovered with a 3-0 win over Olney. West End had drawn 1-1 with North Philadelphia to start the season and finished Week Two with a big 6-1 win over Vincome, who had defeated Cardington 5-2 to start the season. In Week Two, North Philadelphia played PHL to a 3-3 draw in a match the Inquirer described as “exceedingly interesting” to remain undefeated but winless.

The Inquirer reported on Oct. 12 that Era AA had been granted a franchise, bringing the league roster up to fourteen teams. With growth in the Philadelphia soccer scene in 1913 firmly rooted in the amateur game, a letter received from the United States Football Association addressed to leaders of the United League was surely welcome news. The Inquirer reported on Oct. 12 that the letter stated that “all professional players who played in the league last season would be recognized as amateurs and that a dispensation if desired would likely be recognized so that all the professional players of last season who desired to play as amateurs this season would be allowed provided they asked permission.”

Cricket Club League

Two Cricket Club League first division games took place to kick off the start of the season on Oct. 11, 1913. Germantown and Moorestown played to a scoreless draw. Merchantville, formerly the Belmont Cricket Club and holders of the Mannheim Prize for four seasons running, defeated Philadelphia Cricket Club, 3-0.

In second division play, the University of Pennsylvania lost 3-1 to Merion Cricket Club’s second team while Philadelphia CC’s second team played Belfield to a 1-1 draw.

Cardington Juniors

Cardington Juniors

Junior Leagues

In the second week of play in the Philadelphia Junior League, Cardington followed up a 10-0 win over St. Edward’s with a 9-1 win over Swarthmore. Boys’ Club followed up their 6-0 win over Victoria Plush Mills with a 2-1 win over St. Edwards. Fairhill crushed Angora 8-1 and Bridesburg fought Victor Juniors to a 1-1 draw.

Three games took place in the season opening of play in the Northeast Junior League, with the three winning teams outscoring their opponents 16-0. Twelve of the goals scored came in Keystone Juniors win over PHL. The Inquirer reported on Oct. 12, “Keystone walloped PHL…by their superior knowledge of the game.”

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