Written by David Litterer
A major priority in 1911 was the establishment of a national organization that could pull together the many disparate soccer leagues and clubs then extant in the country and encourage cooperation and standardization of rules. The American Football Association claimed to be the national body, partly on account of its annual cup and their fellowship with the Foot Ball Association of England. It certainly was the largest organization in the country, a large island among a rapidly growing, motley collection of independent leagues and teams. However, the AFA had never extended its influence beyond the northeastern United States. Many people also felt that soccer in the USA should not be beholden to the national association of another country, namely England. An autonomous body was seen as essential to bring American soccer to its next step.
The dream of a national organization was reached on October 11 at a meeting of the New York State Football Association, which organized the American Amateur Foot Ball Association, which immediately set itself to the tasks of standardizing rules, bringing all of the various associations and leagues together into one harmonious body, laying the groundwork for an application for membership in FIFA, the world soccer organization, and establishment of a national tournament.
The major event of the year was the tour by the Corinthians, another English all-star team, which followed in the footsteps of the Pilgrims who made two historic tours of the US and Canada several years previous.
Jersey A.C. fought to the end to take the league championship, fighting off a resurgent Paterson Wilburforce which put in a strong 2nd place showing, after not having even completed their winless season of 1909-1910. This was a topsy-turvy season, as most of the strong teams from last season finished at the bottom and the previous season's doormats experienced a major resurgence. The unexpected excitement of changing fortunes combined with high quality game play and rising attendance to make this the most successful year yet for the league. Jersey A.C. was described as the fastest and cleverest side ever fielded by the league, and most of the squad remained signed to the team at season's end with promise for a strong campaign in 1911-12.
Final NAFBL League Standings, 1910-11 Before the season, Newark F.C. returned to the league. GP W L T Pts Jersey A.C. 13 8 2 3 19 Paterson Wilberforce 14 8 4 2 18 Paterson Rangers 14 6 3 5 17 West Hudson A.A. 14 6 6 2 14 Newark F.C. 14 6 6 2 14 Paterson True Blues 11 4 5 2 10 Brooklyn F.C. 10 1 6 3 5 Kearny Scots 12 2 9 1 5 After the season, Newark F.C. withdrew.
The NYSAL billed itself as the largest and most successful league in the country as they completed their fifth season, which was their most successful yet. Several clubs had distinguished themselves in the American Football Association Cup. Buoyed by their success, the league planned to expand for next season to an unprecedented 20 teams in two divisions.
Final NYSAL League Standings, 1910-11 First League GP W L T GF GA Pts Critchleys 14 10 1 3 41 17 23 Clan MacDonalds 14 11 1 2 32 13 22 Hollywood Inn 14 8 3 3 30 17 19 Bronx United 14 7 5 2 25 24 14 Columbia Oval 14 4 7 3 26 28 11 Arcadia Thistles 14 4 9 1 26 36 9 Camerons 14 3 10 1 23 39 7 Astoria 14 1 12 1 8 38 3 (note: MacDonalds and Bronx deducted 2 pts each for using ineligible players.) Second League GP W L T GF GA Pts Brooklyn Celtics 14 12 0 2 61 6 26 Clan MacDuff 14 11 2 1 35 15 23 Clan Bruce 14 9 3 2 30 26 20 Mt. Vernon 14 5 7 2 9 22 12 Clan Mckenzie 14 5 6 3 25 27 11 Donegal Celtics 14 6 8 0 20 34 8 St. George 14 1 11 2 15 56 4 Hungarians 14 2 12 0 16 31 0 (note: McKenzie fined 2 pts for using ineligible players.) (note: Donegals and Hungarians fined 4 pts for using ineligible players.) (Mt. Vernon goals for listed as 9; this may actually have been 19) League champion (1st): Critchleys League champion (2nd): Brooklyn Celtics
St. Leo's won their fourth consecutive league title, with a comfortable lead over Columbus Club, in what was the most successful season to date, with over 50,000 paid admissions over the course of the season and associated games. Close behind were Innisfails and Blue Bells, who filled the bottom slots. In a major surprise, Blue Bells was dropped from the league shortly before the start of the 1911-12 season, due to the absence of the coach who was in Scotland at the time. Dr. Alexander Murray, president of the league since its inception in 1907, donated the Murray Cup, which was to be played for annually by the pennant winners of the four leading St. Louis leagues, with the team winning three consecutive pennants keeping the trophy permanently.
One of the more disappointing developments was the sudden collapse of the St. Louis University League. In 1910-1911, this circuit had surged from obscurity to become a dominating force in the city. The venerable St. Teresa's captured the league title after building up such a strong following that the SUSL was well on the way to becoming premier league in the city. But it all came crashing down in a bitter and somewhat bizarre dispute during the post-season competition. St. Teresa's and St. Leo's were matched up to decide the City championship. They tied in the first match at Athletic Park. The second game was to be played at Teresa's home field, St. Louis University Park, but St. Leo's pressured St. Teresa's to play the match back at Athletic Park, despite the urgent counsels of the University league officials. St. Leo's prevailed in that deciding match, and although it is unclear how crucial the home field advantage was, the result left enough bad taste for the University League officers to quit, and the league suffered its untimely demise.
Final SLSL League Standings, 1910-1911 Before the season, Columbus Club was added. GP W L T GF GA Pts St. Leo's 17 10 4 3 41 22 23 Columbus Club 17 5 5 7 24 25 17 Innisfails 17 7 9 1 24 30 15 Blue Bells 17 4 8 5 14 26 13 Champion: St. Leo's After the season, Blue Bells withdrew. St. Louis University League Champion: St. Teresa's Murray Cup (City championship): St. Leo's defeated St. Teresa's.
The Association Football League succeeded in gaining control of all organized soccer in Chicago and consolidated all the minor competitions into one organization. Hyde Park Blues and Campbell Rovers maintained unbeaten records until they first met each other, with Hyde Park prevailing. Hyde Park, with perhaps the strongest team ever fielded by the league, went on to win the league title by a comfortable margin. By the time they suffered their first loss, they had already clinched the title, and won the Jackson Cup to boot. McDuffs and Woodlawn fought it out for second place, ending tied in the standings.
Final AFLC League standings GP W L T GF GA Pts Hyde Park Blues 20 18 1 1 79 19 37 McDuffs 20 12 4 4 53 30 28 Woodlawns 20 12 4 4 71 33 28 Campbell Rovers 17 9 5 3 54 31 21 West Side Rangers 18 8 7 3 44 56 19 Blue Islands 19 7 8 4 40 31 18 Hibernians 19 6 7 6 48 46 18 Pullman 17 7 10 0 32 39 14 Hyde Park Albions 20 5 15 0 27 66 10 Celtics 20 5 15 0 21 82 10 Buxton Red Sox 19 3 15 1 34 98 7 Jackson Cup: Hyde Park Blues Peel Cup: Blue Island
W L D GF GA Pts St. Teresa's 9 4 2 27 13 20 Duwells 8 4 3 20 13 19 Immaculates 5 8 1 14 28 11 St. James 3 9 2 17 24 8St. Louis Amateur League: St. Roses 10-2-1-21
There was no US National Team during this era.
The American Football Association enjoyed its most prosperous season yet, with high quality tournament games and increased attendance due to the excitement generated by the new cup tie format for the American Cup tournament. This year, 28 teams entered tournament. Howard and Bulloughs of Pawtucket, RI, who had tried unsuccessfully to land the cup, were successful this time around. With a stronger team this year, good luck in the draw, and only one away game in the first round, Howard & Bulloughs had an easy time of it in the early rounds.
In the third round, Tacony defeated Philadelphia Thistles 1-0, Howard and Bullough defeated the True Blues 2-2, 1-1 and 2-1; Philadelphia Hibernians defeated Clan MacDonalds 3-3 and 2-1, and Ansonia defeated the Scottish Americans 1-0. Tacony and Thistles played a closely matched game until Tacony landed a goal with less than half a minute to play. But Tacony's luck was to end soon, as they fell to Howard and Bullough in the semifinals 2-1. The Philadelphia Hibernians had an easy time dispatching Ansonia, winning 3-1. Ansonia had lost one of their fullbacks to sickness ten minutes into the game and had to play shorthanded for the remainder of the match.
The finals were played at Morris Park, Newark NJ. In the opener on April 9, 7,000 fans turned out, and the inadequate gate facilities led to a buildup of over 1,000 fans trying to get in as the match was about to start. They rushed one of the gates, with about 400 fans gaining free admission. Although Howard & Bullough were the faster team, the game was fairly evenly matched. With about 15 minutes remaining, Burroughs landed the goal for Hibernians with Cannane scored the equalizer five minutes later. The resulting 1-1 tie forced a replay on August 23. A crowd of about 6,000 turned out as a clearly improved Howard & Bullough dominated on their way to a 3-1 victory to take the cup.
All-American Football Association Eleven: (by Charles K. Murray, for the Spalding Soccer Guide) G - Adam Esplin, Scottish-American FC RF - O'Toole, Howard & Bullough FC LF - Ross, Clan MacDonald FC RH - McKay, West Hudson FC CH - Stewart, Scottish-American FC LH - Maclennan, Brooklyn FC OR - Harvey, Howard & Bullough FC IR - Kemp, Tacony FC C - Hector MacDonald, Tacony FC IL - Carter, West Hudsons OL - Hinds, Philadelphia Hibernians
Corinthians F.C. August 5, 1911 - September 19, 1911. Record: 18 wins, 1 losses, 1 draws.
Roster: H. G. Bache, C. E. Brisley, C. Wreford Brown, A. T. Coleby, B. O. Corbett, A. L. Corbett, S. H. Day, S. C. Maples, G. G. Newman, M. Morgan Owen, I. E. Small, P. A. Sergeant, R. G. Thompson, S. Turner.
8/5/11 Corinthians 2, All-Ontario 1 (at Toronto) 8/7/11 Corinthians 1, All-Toronto 3 (at Toronto) 8/9/11 Corinthians 6, Hamilton 3 (at Hamilton) 8/12/11 Corinthians 8, Montreal 0 (at Montreal) 8/14/11 Corinthians 5, Cobalt 0 (at Cobalt) 8/16/11 Corinthians 6, Fort William 1 (at Fort William) 8/18/11 Corinthians 2, Winnipeg 1 (at Winnipeg) 8/21/11 Corinthians 6, Regina 2 (at Regina) 8/22/11 Corinthians 9, Saskatoon 2 (at Saskatoon) 8/22/11 Corinthians 6, Edmonton 1 (at Edmonton) 8/26/11 Corinthians 4, Calgary 3 (at Calgary) 8/30/11 Corinthians 5, Vancouver 1 (at Vancouver) 8/31/11 Corinthians 2, Ladysmith 2 (at Ladysmith) 9/2/11 Corinthians 4, Victoria 2 (at Victoria) 9/4/11 Corinthians 4, Vancouver 1 (at Vancouver) 9/10/11 Corinthians 4, All Chicago 0 (at Chicago) 9/11/11 Corinthians 10, All Chicago 1 (at Chicago) 9/16/11 Corinthians 4, All New York 2 (at New York) 9/18/11 Corinthians 6, Newark F.C. 2 (at Newark, NJ) 9/19/11 Corinthians 19, Philadelphia 0 (at Philadelphia)
A major event in 1911 was the establishment of a varsity soccer team at Penn State. This would eventually shift the power of soccer in the state, and in the nation as a whole during a time when otherwise, college soccer was somewhat in the doldrums. Haverford won the IAFL title on a 3-1-1 record, beating out Harvard on the basis of total goals scored. Princeton, which was not in the IAFL, compiled a 3-3 record against college, club and high school teams. Late in 1911, Stanford University formed a team, to join the team at Univ. of California, allowing the first true intercollegiate soccer matches on the west coast.
Intercollegiate Association Football League champion: Haverford
College All Americans: G - Stevenson, Cornell RF - Bannon, Harvard LF - Tann, Yale RH - Taylor, Haverford CH - Young, Haverford LH - Kistier, Columbia OR - Byng, Harvard IR - Gay, Yale CF - G. J. Dwyer, Columbia IL - Mellor, Pennsylvania OL - Bentley, Haverford
Last update: March 4, 2005
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