1927–28 American Soccer League

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Statistics of American Soccer League in season 1927-28.

Overview[edit]

New teams[edit]

During the 1927 off-season, Charles Stoneham bought Indiana Flooring and renamed it the New York Nationals.[1] In order to bring the number of teams back to twelve after the withdrawal of the Springfield Babes and Philadelphia Field Club the previous season, the league admitted the Hartford Americans and Philadelphia Celtic.

New format[edit]

With twelve teams in place, the league made significant changes to its schedule from the previous season. Rather than running a single, 44 game, table for the entire season, the league split the season into two halves, each with its own table. At the end of the season, the top two teams from each half would enter a playoff to determine the league championship.

Season[edit]

The first half of the 1927-28 season began September 10, 1927 and ended on January 8, 1928. Ten games into the season, Philadelphia Celtic withdrew due to financial problems.[2][3] By this time, the Hartford Americans were also showing financial weakness. Therefore, the league requested Hartford voluntarily withdraw from the league both to strengthen the league's financial position and to create a balanced schedule for the rest of the season.[4] By the end of the first half, Boston had finished at the top of the table, but Bethlehem Steel and New Bedford tied with forty-one points each. This led to an improvised first half playoff game on February 22, 1928 between Bethlehem Steel and New Bedford to determine second place. The second half of the season began on February 4, 1928 and ended May 30, 1928.

Playoffs[edit]

The structural problems with the proposed playoff system became obvious by the end of the first half of the season. As mentioned above, Bethleham Steel and New Bedford finished tied for second place. This led to a playoff game which, ironically, did not take place until February 22, 1928, nearly two weeks after the second half of the season began.[5] In that game, played in Tiverton, Rhode Island, the Whalers defeated the Steelmen, 2-0. Further complications arose at the end of the second half. When New Bedford and the Fall River Marksmen finished as the top two teams this led to an unbalanced playoff. The league had intended to have a four team playoff, but the playoff now consisted of three teams – Boston, New Bedford and Fall River. Therefore, the league first decided to allow Bethlehem Steel to enter as the fourth team. This led to a protest by the New York Nationals that they deserved to be the fourth team on account of finishing above Bethlehem Steel in the second half. The league executives decided then to include both the Nationals and Bethlehem Steel, making the playoffs a five-team affair.[6] Bethlehem Steel defeated the Nationals in a two-game series, the first on June 4 and the second on June 6th.[7] Three days later, Bethlehem met the Boston Soccer Club in the first game of their semifinal series. The Bethlehem players were clearly fatigued and their goalkeeper, Dave Edwards went down injured as Bethlehem lost. Rather than travel back to their home stadium in Pennsylvania for the second leg of the series, Bethlehem elected to play at Hawthorne Stadium in Brooklyn. This was home to the Brooklyn Wanderers. While there, Bethlehem requested the Wanderers loan their goalkeeper, future Aberdeen great Steve Smith, to replace the injured Edwards. However, Bethlehem Steel failed to notify league officials that Smith would be a guest player. After Bethlehem won the game, 4-0, going through on aggregate, Boston lodged a complaint which the league sustained. The second game was declared void and Boston's first leg victory became the deciding game in the semifinal. In the other semifinal, the New Bedford Whalers defeated the Fall River Marksmen. However, two players from each team were sent off in the second game. Then Sturdy Maxwell, one of the ejected Whalers players got into a post-game fight with Tec White of the Marksmen. The league suspended White and Maxwell, depriving the Whalers of their starting right half.[8] In the final between the Boston Soccer Club and New Bedford Whalers, both teams scored in the first half, but the Whalers clinched the championship with three second half goals by Barney Battles, Jr.

League standings[edit]

First half[edit]

Place Team GP W L D GF GA Points Percentage
1 Boston 29 18 7 4 65 36 43 .741
2 New Bedford Whalers 29 17 7 5 68 45 41 .706
3 Bethlehem Steel 29 18 5 6 70 49 41 .706
4 Brooklyn Wanderers 29 13 9 7 68 50 35 .603
5 Fall River Marksmen 31 14 6 11 75 58 34 .548
6 New York Giants 30 13 6 11 73 57 32 .533
7 Providence 30 9 8 13 47 59 26 .433
8 J & P Coats 32 6 7 19 39 66 19 .297
9 Newark Skeeters 30 7 3 20 46 77 17 .283
10 New York Nationals 30 7 3 20 41 77 17 .283
11 Hartford Americans 11 4 2 5 14 14 10 .454
12 Philadelphia Celtic 10 2 1 7 17 35 5 .222

Second half[edit]

Place Team GP W L D GF GA Points Percentage
1 New Bedford Whalers 25 13 8 4 52 31 34 .680
2 Fall River Marksmen 26 15 5 6 55 30 35 .673
3 New York Nationals 24 10 8 6 39 35 28 .583
4 Bethlehem Steel 23 10 6 7 43 31 26 .565
5 Boston 22 19 6 7 41 34 27 .545
6 Providence 26 11 5 10 41 46 27 .519
7 New York Giants 23 11 3 12 53 50 25 .481
8 Brooklyn Wanderers 25 9 3 13 39 52 21 .420
9 J & P Coats 20 3 3 14 30 54 9 .225
10 Newark Skeeters 17 2 1 14 18 46 5 .147

Playoffs[edit]

First half playoff[edit]

When Bethlehem Steel and New Bedford finished tied for second place during the first half of the season, this playoff game in February was used to determine the second place team for playoff purposes.

February 22, 1929
New Bedford Whalers 2-0 Bethlehem Steel
Mike McLeavy Goal
McLaughlin Goal
Mark's Stadium, Tiverton, Rhode Island

First round[edit]

June 4, 1928
5:30 PM EST
Bethlehem Steel 2-1 New York Nationals
Archie Stark Goal 1' Goal 46' (Report) Goal 44' Hookey Leonard
Lehigh Stadium, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Referee: Mose Bloom


Bethlehem Steel advances 6-1 on aggregate


Semifinals[edit]

Seminfinal 1[edit]

June 9, 1928
Boston 3-1 Bethlehem Steel
Barney Battles, Jr. Goal Goal Goal 90' (Report) Goal 44' Archie Stark

Referee: Thomas Cunningham


June 12, 1928
6:45 PM EST
Bethlehem Steel 4-0 Boston
Hugh Reid Goal
Archie Stark Goal Goal
Tom Gillespie Goal
(Report)
Hawthorne Field, Brooklyn, New York

The league voided the result of the second leg game after it was discovered Bethlehem Steel used Steve Smith, the Brooklyn Wanderers goalkeeper, in place of the injured Dave Edwards.

Boston advanced to the final.


Seminfinal 2[edit]


New Bedford advanced 3-2 on aggregate


Final[edit]

June 16, 1928
New Bedford Whalers 2-4 Boston
Nicolas Stewart Goal
Bill Paterson Goal
GoalJohnny Ballantyne
GoalGoalGoal Barney Battles, Jr.
New Bedford, Massachusetts
Referee: R. Bethune

League cup[edit]

Bracket[edit]

March 3–24 April 7–8
           
PA Bethlehem Steel 3-4
NJ Newark Skeeters 1-0
PA Bethlehem Steel 3-2
MA Boston 2-2
MA Boston 4-4
MA New Bedford Whalers 3-1

Semifinals[edit]

March 3, 1928
Bethlehem Steel 3-1 Newark Skeeters
Malcolm Goldie Goal
Archie Stark Goal 58' Goal
Goal Jim Green
I and Tioga, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 2,000
Referee: Dave Scott


March 4, 1928
Newark Skeeters 0-4 Bethlehem Steel
Goal 37' Archie Stark
Goal 50' Tom Gillespie
Goal 60' Malcolm Goldie
Goal 85' Tom Gillespie
Newark, New Jersey
Attendance: 1,000
Referee: J. Hume

Bethlehem advances 7-1 on aggregate.



March 24, 1928
Boston 4-1 New Bedford Whalers
Barney Battles, Jr. GoalGoal
Red Ballantyne Goal
Werner Nilsen Goal
Goal Alec Lorimer
Boston, Massachusetts
Referee: Thomas Cunningham

Boston advances 8-4 on aggregate.


Final[edit]

April 7, 1928
Bethlehem Steel 3-2 OT Boston
Archie Stark Goal 15'
Johnny Rollo Goal
Archie Stark Goal 92'
(Report) Goal 22' PK Barney Battles, Jr.
Goal 25' Barney Battles, Jr.
I and Tioga, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Referee: Charles Creighton


April 8, 1928
Boston 2-2 Boston
Barney Battles, Jr. Goal 5' Goal 50' (Report) Goal 2' Malcolm Goldie
Goal 23' Archie Stark
Boston, Massachusetts
Referee: Tom Cunningham

Goals leaders[edit]

Rank Scorer Club Games Goals
1 Andy Stevens New Bedford Whalers 46 30
2 Max Grünwald New York Giants 51 29
3 Tom Gillespie Bethlehem Steel 43 28
4 Arnie Oliver J&P Coats 44 27
Archie Stark Bethlehem Steel 46 27
6 John Nelson Fall River Marksmen 38 25
Davey Brown New York Giants 47 25
8 Dave McEachran Boston 47 22
Tommy Florie Providence 50 22
10 Bobby Blair Fall River Marksmen 42 21
Tec White Fall River Marksmen 46 21
12 Bill Paterson New Bedford Whalers 34 20
13 Joseph Gregretsky Newark Skeeters 29 19
Jimmy McConnell J&P Coats 32 19
George Graham Brooklyn Wanderers 34 19
Billy Hogg New York Giants 34 19
17 Mike McLeavy New Bedford Whalers 36 17
Werner Nilsen Boston 46 17
Bobby Curtis Brooklyn Wanderers 47 17
20 Harold Brittan Fall River Marksmen 28 16
Moritz Häusler New York Giants 42 16
Shamus O'Brien New York Giants 53 16
23 Barney Battles, Jr. Boston 43 15
Jerry Best New Bedford Whalers 46 15
Red Ballantyne New Bedford Whalers 51 15
Billy Adair Brooklyn Wanderers 54 15
27 József Eisenhoffer Brooklyn Wanderers 43 14
Bobby Walker New York Nationals 47 14
Alex McNab Boston 50 14
30 Johnny Jaap Bethlehem Steel 40 13
31 Johnny Ballantyne Boston 32 12
32 Geordie Henderson New York Nationals 32 11
33 James McKechnie New York Nationals 25 10
Bart McGhee New York Nationals 38 10
Andy Auld Providence 44 10
Alec Lorimer New Bedford Whalers 48 10
Alec Beattie Providence 48 10
Johnny Harvey Fall River Marksmen 54 10

External links[edit]

References[edit]