The Year in American Soccer – 1910

National Association Football League

The NAFBL expanded to 8 teams this season, adding Brooklyn Wilburforce, Jersey F. C. and Brooklyn F. C. This somewhat ameliorated the loss of last year’s champion, East Clark A. A. Jersey and Brooklyn both made an immediate impact, finishing second and third respectively, but West Hudson continued their winning ways, taking the championship in a close race. Newark F. C. withdrew part of the way through the season to be replaced by Bronx United who withdrew after the season was over.

            Final NAFBL League Standings, 1909-10

Before the season, Paterson Wilberforce, Jersey F.C. and Brooklyn F.C. were added.

                          GP   W   L   T   Pts
West Hudson A.A.          10  10   0   0   20
Jersey F.C.               13   9   4   0   18
Brooklyn F.C.             10   5   4   1   11
Kearny Scots              12   4   6   2   10
Paterson True Blues       10   4   6   0   8
Newark F.C.               10   3   5   2   8 
Paterson Rangers          10   2   6   2   6
Paterson Wilberforce       7   0   6   1   1

Eastern Soccer League I

The Eastern Soccer League was organized in the fall of 1909, comprising several major teams from the New England, New Jersey and Philadelphia areas. The League was envisioned as a method of furthering the growth of soccer by selecting 1 or 2 of the best teams from the cities in which soccer was most popular, and have them play a home and home series against each club, primarily on Sundays and holidays, in order to ensure a higher attendance. The president of this short-lived league was Robert Morrison of the American Football Association and vice president was Andrew M. Brown of the Thistle Club of Philadelphia. Fall River Rovers and Howard & Bullough were two of the premier teams in the New England League. West Hudson and Newark F. C. were active members of the National Association Football league, arguably one of the two top leagues currently running. Philadelphia Hibernian was a perennial powershouse in the Philadelphia leagues, and Philadelphia Thistle was also one of their more successful members. The league got off to a good start, but was plagued with scheduling problems and bad weather, and nearly half of the scheduled games did not take place. The league planned to regroup for 1910, but ultimately folded their tent.

          Final ESL I League Standings, 1909-10

Fall River Rovers           7   4   0   3  23   8   11
Howard & Bullough           5   3   1   1   8   9    7
West Hudsons                5   2   2   1   5   5    5
Philadelphia Hibernians     5   1   1   3   7   8    5
Philadelphia Thistles       5   1   3   1   6  12    3
Newark F.C.                 5   0   4   1   7  17    1

St. Louis Soccer League

St. Leo’s won their third consecutive league title, in a close race with St. Teresa. The four clubs in this league were widely considered the fastest teams among the many playing in St. louis. Blue Bells finished close behind St. Teresa making for an exciting 3-way race through most of the seaspn. Only Innisfails had a tough time of it, managing a mere 3 wins for the season. Attendance was good, totalling over 40,000 for the season. The St. Teresa Juniors won the Amateur League title and the city championship, while St. Teresa’s SLSL club went on to win the Midwest Championship, defeating the Nationals of Cincinnati 10-1.

             Final SLSL League Standings, 1910-1911

Before the season, Blue Bells and Innisfails were added.

                       GP   W   L   T   GF  GA  Pts
St.Leo's               15   6   1   8   23  14  20
St.Teresa              15   6   4   5   25  18  17
Blue Bells             16   6   5   5   19  17  15
Innisfails             15   3  10   2   10  28   8

Champion:  St. Leo's

After the season, St. Teresa withdrew.

St. Louis Amateur League:  St. Teresa Juniors
St. Louis Association Foot Ball League:  Keen Kutters (8-1-1-23-6-17)
Hibernian League:  Immaculate Conception (4-1-2-6-1-10)
Carondelet League:  SS. Mary & Joseph.
Murray Cup (City championship):  St. Teresa Juniors defeated Keen Kutters 4-2.

Association Foot Ball League of Chicago:

The largest crowd ever to witness a soccer game in Chicago came to watch the All-Chicago combine play the touring Pilgrims of England on October 24, 1909 before 6,000 fans. Although the Chigoans lost 3-0, the event was an inspiration whose effects trickled over into the 1909-10 season. Eight teams were in the Chicago Association Foot Ball League this year, and the newcomers, the Hibernians, proved their worth by winning the Spalding Cup with an impressive 10-2-2 record facilitated by a slashing and aggressive game. Their first loss came after they had clinched the title. The Peel Cup (Illinois state championship) was won by Hyde Park Blues who defeated Coal city 3-0 in a brilliantly contested match.

             Final AFLC League standings, 1909-10

                  GP   W   L   T   Pts
Hibernians        14  10   2   2   22
Pullman           14   8   4   2   18
Hyde Park Blues   14   6   5   3   15
Harvey            14   6   5   3   15
Woodlawns         14   6   6   2   14
McDuffs           14   4   7   3   11
Campbell Rovers   14   4   8   2   10
Hyde Park Albions 14   3  10   1    7

Spalding Cup:  Hibernians
Peel Cup: Hyde Park Blues

Amateur Leagues & Cups

Midwest Championship: St. Teresa’s (St. Louis) defeated Nationals (Cincinnati) 10-1.
St. George’s Soccer Foot Ball league (Newark, NJ): Hawthorne of Elizabeth.
Pennsylvania State League: Tacony F. C.
St. George League (Philadelphia): Tennyson F. C.
Philadelphia and Suburban Assoctaion Foot Ball league: Victor F. C.
Associated Cricket Club’s League (Philadelphia): Belmont F. C.
Pennsylvania Amateur League: Fairhill YMA.
Philadelphia Amateur Challenge Cup:Centennial defeated Cardington 4-1.
Detroit and District Association Foot Ball league: All-Scots.
California Association Senior Challenge Cup: Vampires.
John O. Belis Perpetual Trophy: Thistle.
Utah Football Association Union: Salt Lake.
Northwestern Senior League (Washington): Rangers.

The US National Team

There was no US National Team during this era.

American Cup

A record 29 teams entered the American Federation Cup tournament this year. There were some great performances as well as some surprises, with Howard & Bullough losing in the first round, and Philadelphia Thistle forfeiting after they refused to travel to Fall River for a second round match. In the third round, the Kearney Scots upset the highly favored West Hudsons, who had been favored to win the cup. It was close though, 1-0, but Kearney’s goalkeeper, Eskin played a masterful game. Fall River Rovers defeated Jersey A. C., True Blues defeated Paterson Wilburforce and Tacony FC of Philadelphia defeated the Paterson Rangers.

In the semifinals, it took a two-leg series for the Kearney Scots to eliminate the True Blues, the first match ending in a draw. Meanwhile, in another upset, Tacony FC, the champions of the Pennsylvania State League, defeated the Rovers 2-1 to earn their ticket to the final. The final was played on April 23 at West Hudson Athletic Field, after a weeks delay due to rain. Over 7,000 spectators showed up to enjoy a “stirring battle”. Tacony had the upper hand in the first half, scoring within ten minutes. They took their lead through halftime, but Kearney evened the score off a penalty kick. Kearney had many chances to pull ahead, but their best efforts were frustrated by the bungling of their forward line. As the minutes wound down, Tacony was awarded a penalty kick which they sent home for the score, giving them the American Cup with a 2-1 victory.

International Tours

There were no tours by international teams this year.

The College Game

The Intercollegiate Association Football League began its annual series of all-American teams this year.

Intercollegiate Association Football League champion: Columbia

College All Americans:
G -  C. B. Spencer, Columbia
RF - Fenn, Pennsylvania
LF - Cushing, Harvard
RH - Semple, Columbia
CH - Crockett, Pennsylvania
LH - Young, Haverford
OR - Leland, Harvard
IR - Gay, Yale
CF - G. J. Dwyer, Columbia
IL - C. E. Dwyer, Columbia
OL - Zoller, Columbia