Written by David Litterer
The NAFBL returned to full strength with an influx of returning soldiers from the war front. Several teams were added, and the season expanded to 16 games. The league continued to be plagued by missed games and weather cancellations, with only Harrison Erie completing their schedule. The veteran teams took most of the top spots in the standings, with Bethlehem Steel again taking the league title, albeit in a nail biter of a race, but they were unable to repeat their previous successes at the national cups. Philadelphia Merchant Ship plummeted to the bottom from their previous 2nd place finish, and Morse Dry Dock was the strongest of the newcomers, just finishing over .500. Several players took part in the St. Louis Soccer Club tour of Scandinavia (see below).
Final League Standings, 1919-1920 Before the season, Brooklyn Morse Dry Dock, Kearny Erie, Kearny Federal Ship, Philadelphia Disston, and New York IRT were added. GP W L T GF GA Pts Bethlehem Steel 15 12 1 2 34 9 25 Harrison Erie S. C. 16 11 2 3 37 21 24 Brooklyn Robins Dry Dock 14 1O 2 2 33 22 22 Paterson F.C. 15 7 1 7 23 29 15 New York F.C. 14 4 4 6 17 24 12 Brooklyn Morse Dry Dock 14 4 3 7 22 2O 11 Philadelphia Disston 12 2 2 8 16 19 6 Kearny Federal Ship 11 2 2 7 19 28 6 Philadelphia Merchant Ship13 O 3 1O 7 36 3 New York IRT 5 0 0 5 4 19 0 League champion: Bethlehem Steel New York IRT withdrew early in the season. After the season, Brooklyn Morse Dry Dock, and Philadelphia Merchant Ship withdrew.
Once again, the league race was a tight one, with a mere five points separating the four teams at the end of the season. Ben Millers and Innisfails finished tied with 23 points apiece, with the Millers winning on the strength of having fewer losses and more draws. Ben Millers and Scullin did a swap of places, trading first for last. Ben Millers then went on to complete a "double", taking the National Challenge Cup title (see below).
Final League Standings, 1919-20 GP W L T Pts Ben Millers 21 8 6 7 23 Innisfails 21 10 8 3 23 St. Louis Screw 21 8 9 4 20 Scullins Steel 21 7 10 4 18 Champion: Ben Millers
With the war over, the SNESL resumed operations. Unfortunately, standings are not yet available for this season, although it is known that J&P Coates, Fore River of Quincy, Fall River Rovers and General Electric of Lynn, MA participated. The major challenge this season was rebuilding the rosters with the influx of returning servicemen from the war effort.
Final SNESL League Standings, 1919-20 GP W L T PTS J & P Coats General Electrics [Lynn] Fall River Rovers Fore River (among other teams)
The U. S. National team was inactive this year.
The Olympic games, held in Antwerp, Belgium, did not see an American team take part in the soccer competition. Fifteen nations, mostly from Europe took part. England, the winner in 1912, was humbled and eliminated in the first round. Czechoslovakia, Holland, Belgium and France made it through the first two rounds, and Belgium defeated Holland 3-0, and Czechoslovakia defeated France 3-1 in the semifinals. A separate series between six also-rans produced a survivor (Spain) who defeated Holland for the bronze medal. The final between Belgium and Czechoslovakia was marred by controversy. There had been considerable grumbling over perceived biased refereeing in favor of the host country. For the final, the legendary John Lewis of England was chosen to referee the game. Although he had a long history of distinguished service, at age 72, he was simply too old to keep up the pace and the game was rife with unjustifiably rough play, and the Czechs left the field in disgust after forty minutes of play. With the default, Belgium took gold, and Spain moved up to take the vacated silver with Holland taking the bronze previously earned by Spain.
On May 9, 1920, Ben Millers of the St. Louis League defeated Southern New England's Fore River, 2-1.
Robins Dry Dock of Brooklyn defeated Bethlehem Steel, 1-0 to take the title.
St. Louis Soccer Club to Scandinavia: August 1, 1920 through September 15, 1920. August 10, 1919 - September 24, 1919. Results: 7 wins, 5 draws, 2 losses.
Roster: A. J. Brady, Al McHenry, C. W. Bechtold, G. F. Schemel, Thomas O'Hanlon, William P. Quinn, George Corrigan, A. K. Ryan, L. E. Reilly, F. J. Vaughan, Ollie Fink, H. Marre (all of St. Louis), David E. Brown (Kearny, NJ), George Tintle (Harrison, NJ), Albert Blakey (Philadelphia), George Post ( (Kearny, NJ), Charles Ellis (New York City), Harry J. Ratican (Captain) (Brooklyn & St. Louis). Manager: Thomas W. Cahill.
8/1/20 St. Louis 3, Swedish Selected Team 2 (at Stockholm) 8/5/20 St. Louis 3, Djurgarden 1 (at Stockholm) 8/8/20 St. Louis 1, Swedish Olympic Selected team 1 (at Stockholm) 8/12/20 St. Louis 2, A.I.K. 2 (at Stockholm) 8/16/20 St. Louis 2, Swedish Olympic 5 8/18/20 St. Louis 2, All-Stockholm 2 (at Stockholm) 8/23/20 St. Louis 4, Northern Sweden Select 1 (at Gaffe) 8/25/20 St. Louis 1, All-Stockholm 3 (at Stockholm) 8/29/20 St. Louis 2, A.I.K. 0 9/1/20 St. Louis 3, Sleipner 1 (at Norrkoping) 9/5/20 St. Louis 3, All-Skane 1 (at Helsinborg) 9/8/20 St. Louis 2, All-Wastergortland 0 (at Boras) 9/12/20 St. Louis 3, G.A.I.S. 3 (at Gothenborg) 9/15/20 St. Louis 2, All-Gothenborg 2
Intercollegiate Association Football League champion: Pennsylvania
Penn Intercollegiate Association Football League Champion: Swarthmore
College All Americans: G - Cooper, Princeton RF - Darrow, Pennsylvania LF - Keyes, Princeton RH - Hunt, Princeton CH - Binns, Pennsylvania LH - Muench, Haverford OR - Bingham, Pennsylvania IR - Spencer, Pennsylvania CF - Stinson, Princeton IL - Coburn, Yale OL - Dowlin, Pennsylvania
Last update: March 4, 2005
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