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.

History[edit]

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. Several records of this Challenge Cup incorrectly refer to the winning team as Fall River F.C., confusing it with the Fall River Marksmen. 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 round Second round Semi-finals Final
                           
January 10 - February 1            
 Fall River Marksmen  1st
 Providence Gold Bugs  2nd  
 Fall River Marksmen  
   Won Round Robin    
 New Bedford Whalers  3rd
February 23 - New Bedford
 Pawtucket Rangers  4th  
 Fall River Marksmen  6
January 11 - Rochester
   New York Galicia  2  
 Rochester Celtic  2
January 25 - Quincy
 Fore River  3  
 Fore River  2
January 11 - New York
   New York Galicia  5  
 New York Galicia  2
March 22 - New York
 Tappen Post  1  
 Fall River Marksmen  6
January 11 - February 15
   Newark Americans  1
 Hakoah All-Stars  1st
 New York Giants  2nd  
 Hakoah All-Stars  
   Won Round Robin    
 New York Soccer Club  3rd
February 22/March 15
 Brooklyn Wanderers  4th  
 Hakoah All-Stars  1-0
January 11 - Newark
   Newark Americans  2-2  
 Newark Americans  3
January 25 - Newark
 Newark Portuguese  0  
 Newark Americans  6
January 11 - Dundalk
   BS Baltimore  1  
 BS Baltimore  7
 Trenton Highlanders  1  

Western Division[edit]

First round Second round Semi-finals Final
                           
January 11 - St. Louis            
 Ben Millers  5
February 8 - St. Louis
 Tablers  3  
 Ben Millers  2
January 31 - St. Louis
   Kavanaughs  1  
 Kavanaughs  8
March 1 - St. Louis
 Hellrungs and Grimm  2  
 Ben Millers  2
January 25 - Cleveland
   Cleveland Slavia  1  
 Cleveland Slavia  3
February 22 - Cleveland
 Bruell Hungarian  2  
 Cleveland Slavia  2
February 16 - Cleveland
   Morgan F.C.  1  
 Cleveland Shamrock  1
March 8, 15
 Morgan F.C.  3  
 Ben Millers  2-0
February 8 - Chicago
   Chicago Bricklayers  7-1
 Chicago Bricklayers  3
February 15 - Chicago
 Olympia F.C.  0  
 Chicago Bricklayers  2
February 8 - Chicago
   Sparta ABA  1  
 Sparta ABA  4
March 1 - Chicago
 Maccabee All-Stars  0  
 Chicago Bricklayers  4
February 8 - Chicago
   Swedish Americans  1  
 Swedish Americans  4
February 15, 22 - Chicago
 Norwegian Americans  0  
 Swedish Americans  4-2
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

Final[edit]

First game[edit]

April 5, 1931
Fall River Marksmen (MA) 6–2 Chicago Bricklayers (IL)
Patenaude (5)
McPherson
Cuthbert
Greenlees
Polo Grounds; New York, New York
Attendance: 12,000
Referee: Charles Creighton, New York (USA)

Second game[edit]

April 12, 1931
Chicago Bricklayers (IL) 1–1 Fall River Marksmen (MA)
Gregg 57' (penalty) Gonsalves 40'
Mills Stadium; Chicago, Illinois
Attendance: 8,000
Referee: Jack Johnstone, (USA)

Second game (replay)[edit]

April 19, 1931
Chicago Bricklayers (IL) 0–2 Fall River Marksmen (MA)
Patenaude
Burness (penalty)
Sparta Field; Chicago, Illinois
Attendance: 4,500
Referee: Harry Pithie Detroit, (USA)

Source[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ www.rsssf.com
  2. ^ American Soccer - 1931
  3. ^ www.sover.net
  4. ^ Soccer in a Football World - The Story of America’s Forgotten Game (2006) : David Wangerin [1]