1931 National Challenge Cup

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The 1931 National Challenge Cup was the annual open cup held by the United States Football Association now known as the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.


By the spring of 1931, the twin ravages of the Great Depression and the "Soccer Wars" had taken their toll on the American Soccer League. As a result, Sam Mark moved his Fall River Marksmen to New York, hoping that a new market there would be more lucrative. Once there he merged the club with New York Soccer Club and renamed them the New York Yankees. Before the merger was finalised, however, Fall River Marksmen had entered the National Challenge Cup and Mark was unable to re-register them as the Yankees. As a result, the Spring 1931 season saw them continue to play in the Challenge Cup as the Fall River Marksmen while at the same time playing as the New York Yankees in the ASL. While the Yankees only managed to finish third in the ASL, the Marksmen won the cup. Largely on the goalscoring strength of Billy Gonsalves, with 9, and Bert Patenaude, with 13, they reached the final where they eventually beat Chicago Bricklayers in a final played as a three-game series. The last of these three games is officially regarded as the last game the Marksmen ever played. The first leg of the final was played on April 5 at the Polo Grounds, where the Marksmen won 6-2, and seemingly established a clear lead. Patenaude scored five goals in that game while Bill McPherson added the other. A week later at Mills Stadium in Chicago, the Bricklayers kept the series alive by earning a 1-1 draw. This time Gonsalves got on the score sheet. Sparta Stadium in Chicago attracted 4,500 for the deciding game on April 19. The Marksmen could only field 10 players after their captain, Alex McNab, broke his arm in a midweek friendly and the club had neglected to bring along any reserves. Despite this they still managed to win 2-0 with goals from Patenaude and Gordon Burness.[1][2][3][4]

The Marksmen were not the only club to relocate, merge or disappear. This has made it difficult to follow the teams as they progressed through this year's competition. To muddy the waters more, the Providence Gold Bugs had been bought by a group of Fall River businessmen and moved to that city to replace the Marksmen. The Gold Bugs were then renamed Fall River F.C. Furthermore, after the Gold Bugs had moved to Fall River to become Fall River F.C., it merged with the New Bedford Whalers. As these teams had all played initial Challenge Cup games, the results become difficult to follow.

Eastern Division[edit]

First roundSecond roundSemi-finalsFinal
January 10 - February 1
Fall River Marksmen1st
Providence Gold Bugs2nd
Fall River Marksmen
Won Round Robin
New Bedford Whalers3rd
February 23 - New Bedford
Pawtucket Rangers4th
Fall River Marksmen6
January 11 - Rochester
New York Galicia2
Rochester Celtic2
January 25 - Quincy
Fore River3
Fore River2
January 11 - New York
New York Galicia5
New York Galicia2
March 22 - New York
Tappen Post1
Fall River Marksmen6
January 11 - February 15
Newark Americans1
Hakoah All-Stars1st
New York Giants2nd
Hakoah All-Stars
Won Round Robin
New York Soccer Club3rd
February 22/March 15
Brooklyn Wanderers4th
Hakoah All-Stars1-0
January 11 - Newark
Newark Americans2-2
Newark Americans3
January 25 - Newark
Newark Portuguese0
Newark Americans6
January 11 - Dundalk
BS Baltimore1
BS Baltimore7
Trenton Highlanders1

Western Division[edit]

First roundSecond roundSemi-finalsFinal
January 11 - St. Louis
Ben Millers5
February 8 - St. Louis
Ben Millers2
January 31 - St. Louis
March 1 - St. Louis
Hellrungs and Grimm2
Ben Millers2
January 25 - Cleveland
Cleveland Slavia1
Cleveland Slavia3
February 22 - Cleveland
Bruell Hungarian2
Cleveland Slavia2
February 16 - Cleveland
Morgan F.C.1
Cleveland Shamrock1
March 8, 15
Morgan F.C.3
Ben Millers2-0
February 8 - Chicago
Chicago Bricklayers7-1
Chicago Bricklayers3
February 15 - Chicago
Olympia F.C.0
Chicago Bricklayers2
February 8 - Chicago
Sparta ABA1
Sparta ABA4
March 1 - Chicago
Maccabee All-Stars0
Chicago Bricklayers4
February 8 - Chicago
Swedish Americans1
Swedish Americans4
February 15, 22 - Chicago
Norwegian Americans0
Swedish Americans4-2
February 1 - Detroit
Workers A.C.4-1
Liberty F.C.0
Workers A.C.2

Round Robin groups for Quarterfinal qualifying.

New York Pts Pld W L T GF GA GD
Hakoah All-Stars 8 6 4 2 0 7 9 -2
New York Giants 7 6 3 2 1 17 13 +4
New York Soccer Club 5 6 2 3 1 13 12 +1
Brooklyn Wanderers 4 6 2 4 0 11 16 -5
New England Pts Pld W L T GF GA GD
Fall River Marksmen 10 6 4 0 2 19 7 +12
Providence Gold Bugs 6 6 2 2 2 11 9 +2
New Bedford Whalers 6 6 2 2 2 11 13 -2
Pawtucket Rangers 2 6 0 4 2 9 21 -12


First game[edit]

Fall River Marksmen (MA)6–2Chicago Bricklayers (IL)
Patenaude Goal
McPherson Goal
Cuthbert Goal
Greenlees Goal
Attendance: 12,000
Referee: Charles Creighton, New York (USA)

Second game[edit]

Chicago Bricklayers (IL)1–1Fall River Marksmen (MA)
Gregg Goal 57' (pen.) Gonsalves Goal 40'
Attendance: 8,000
Referee: Jack Johnstone (USA)

Second game (replay)[edit]

Chicago Bricklayers (IL)0–2Fall River Marksmen (MA)
Patenaude Goal
Burness Goal (pen.)
Attendance: 4,500
Referee: Harry Pithie, Detroit, (USA)


  • Jose, Colin (1998). American Soccer League, 1921-1931 (Hardback). The Scarecrow Press. (ISBN 0-8108-3429-4).
  • 1931 U.S. Open Cup Results


  1. ^ www.rsssf.com Archived 2010-12-24 at WebCite
  2. ^ American Soccer - 1931
  3. ^ www.sover.net
  4. ^ Wangerin, David (May 12, 2006). Soccer in a football world. London, England: WSC Books, Ltd. ISBN 0954013476.