The year 1932 was a quiet one for American soccer. This was partly due to the effects of the Depression, which was wreaking havoc on the American Soccer League, and temporarily brought to a halt international tours. Once again, the National Team was inactive. In addition, the anticipated major event of the year — the Olympics — came to naught as intercontinental disputes led to a decision not to hold the soccer competition. The amateur leagues and colleges continued on, but financial woes led to serious questions about the future of the game at higher levels.
American Soccer League
By the start of the 1931 Fall season, the American Soccer League was reeling from the effects of the depression. The new Fall River franchise folded, having failed to cash in on the memory of the fabled Marksmen. Its players were picked up by Sam Mark, who, having failed in his New York endeavor, moved his Yankees (The former Fall River Marksmen) to the city of his old rival, and rechristened the team as the new New Bedford Whalers. This team was in effect a combination of the old Fall River, Providence and New Bedford teams. With such a rich player pool, the new Whalers not surprisingly won the fall 1931 season fairly handily, beating the New York Giants by 4 points.
In a harbinger of further misfortune, the long-time Brooklyn Wanderers folded before the season. Brooklyn had been in the league for much of its existence. However, a glimpse into the future was also manifested, as the league added the New York Americans, who were later to become a perennial contender in the future second American Soccer League.
The season saw strong performances by New Bedford Whalers, who won the season as well as the New York Giants and the resurgent Pawtucket Rangers. Hakoah All-Stars improved markedly to take fourth place. This was Bert Patenaude’s best season to take as he lead goalscorers with 24 scores. Although the Whalers won the 1931 fall season, they lost the playoff series for overall 1931 champion, being defeated by Spring 1931 champs New York Giants in one of the most exciting series in the league’s history. The Whalers took the first game at home 8-3, and in an amazing turnaround, the Giants came back to trounce New Bedford 6-0, to take the series on a 9-8 aggregate score. This provided a fitting capstone as an era ended in the ASL.
The American Soccer League began to disintegrate after the end of the fall season. In the spring of 1932, the same six teams continued with a spring series, but details and records for this season are very hard to come by. Little is known outside of a handful of box scores, and it is unclear whether the league ever finished the series. The most complete league table thus far discovered showed the New Bedford Whalers leading the Hakoah All-Stars by 1 point after 6 games.
Final American Soccer League Standings, Fall 1931 Before the half, New York Americans were added. New York Yankees were absorbed by Fall River, and the team moved to New Bedford GP W D L GF GA PTS PCT New Bedford Whalers 21 14 2 5 60 32 30 .714 New York Giants 20 11 4 5 54 38 26 .650 Pawtucket Rangers 20 13 0 7 58 42 26 .650 Hakoah All-Stars 21 11 4 6 44 34 26 .615 Boston Bears 19 4 3 12 34 50 11 .289 New York Americans 20 3 3 14 32 69 9 .225 Newark Americans 11 1 2 8 16 39 4 .183 CHAMPIONSHIP: New York Giants defeated New Bedford on total goals in a 2-game series (8-3, 6-0). Leading Scorers GP G Bert Patenaude (New York Giants) 16 24 Werner Nielsen (New Bedford Whalers) 21 16 Tommy Florie (New Bedford Whalers) 19 15 Bob McIntyre (Pawtucket Rangers) 16 15 James Hogg (Pawtucket Rangers) 18 13 Rudolph Nikolsberger (Hakoah All-Stars19 12 Arthur Scott (Pawtucket Rangers) 19 11 Moritz Haeusler (Hakoah All-Stars) 21 10 Billy Gonsalves (New Bedford Whalers) 19 10 Final American Soccer League Standings, Spring 1932 (This may be an incomplete set of standings, or a season that was never completed.) GP W D L GF GA PTS New Bedford Whalers 6 3 2 1 8 Hakoah All-Stars 6 3 1 2 7 Boston Bears 6 1 4 1 5 Pawtucket Rangers 6 0 3 3 3 New York Americans 1 0 1 0 1 New York Giants 0 0 0 0 0 Newark Americans 0 0 0 0 0 New York Giants and Newark withdrew after the season.
St. Louis Soccer League
A significant name entered the fray this season. Hellrungs received new sponsorship by a major department store, and adopted their name, Stix, Baer & Fuller. this team would eventually make a name for itself in the US Open Cup. But for now, they were still rebuilding. Coca Colas ascended to the top of the league, winning a close race with the venerable Ben Millers. The new club, Andersons, finished last.
Final SLSL League Standings, 1931-32 Before the season, Hellrungs became Stix Baer & Fuller. GP W L T GF GA Pts Coca Colas 16 7 5 4 37 31 18 Ben Millers 16 7 7 2 35 32 16 Stix Baer & Fuller 15 6 6 3 25 26 15 Andersons 15 5 7 3 30 38 13 Champion: Coca Colas Municipal League Champion: Mack's Sandwich Shop Leading scorers: G Joe Hennessy, Coca Colas 11 Ed Grennon, Coca Colas 11 Benny Nash, Ben Millers 9 Larry Kickham, Ben Millers 7 Ed Flavin, Andersons 7 Hop Coughlin, Ben Millers 6 Raphael Tracy, Ben Millers 6 Lou Ahrens, Stix Baer & F 6 Dinty Moore, Andersons 6 Johnny Worden, Coca Colas 5 Eddie Hart, Stix Baer & F 5 James Cronin, Andersons 5 Gene McAuliffe, Andersons 5 Frank Pastor, Stix Baer &F; 4
Amateur Leagues and Cups
California Senior Challenge Cup: Olympic
John O. Bellis Perpetual Trophy: Olympic
Rowland Cup (Maryland State Open): Bethlehem Steel; Stewart Cup: Stonewall
New Jersey State Challenge Cup. Babcock & Wilcox
New York State Senior Challenge Cup. Brooklyn
New York State Qualifying Cup. Dublin United
German-American Soccer League (New York): D.F.C. Newark (A Division); Newark (B Division)
Metropolitan League (New York). Premier Division: Nassau; First Division: Prague
Peel Challenge Cup (Illinois): Sparta F. C.
National Soccer League of Chicago: Sparta F.C.
West Penn Challenge Cup (Pittsburgh): Pittsburgh Morrys; Junior Cup: Heidelberg Juniors
The US National Team
The US National team did not play any games during 1932. The cancellation of soccer competition in the 1932 Olympics (due to hard financial times throughout all soccer countries and intersectional disputes) was a bitter blow for the US team, as the United States was hosting the games this year, in Los Angeles.
National Challenge Cup
The New Bedford Whalers of the ASL (which was really the same team that had won the cup the last two years, having now moved from New York to New Bedford), defeated Stix, Baer & Fuller of St. Louis in a two-leg final. The first game, held on March 26 at Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis, was a 3-3 tie. A week later on the same field, the Whalers took the cup with a 5-2 victory over Stix. Tec White, Werner Nilsen, Billy Gonsalves, Bill McPherson and Tom Florie scored the New Bedford goals.
In the semifinals, New Bedford had beaten New York Giants, 5-2, while Stix had needed three legs to eliminate Chicago Bricklayers, winning by 3-2 and losing by 2-0 before taking the deciding leg, 1-0. The quarterfinal results were New Bedford 1, New York Hakoah 0; New York Giants 6, Newark Americans 1; Stix 1, Chicago Sparta 0, and Bricklayers 1, Cleveland Slavia 0.
The College Game
Intercollegiate Soccer Football Association Champion: Penn, Navy
Middle Atlantic Intercollegiate Soccer League: Penn
California Intercollegiate Soccer Conference Champion: San Francisco
College All-Americans: G - Zinti, Haverford RF - Black, Syracuse LF - Parker, Springfield RH - Bernijillo, Cornell CH - Dayklu, Penn State LH - Evans, Penn State OR - Robertson, Springfield IR - Jordan, Yale CF - McEwan, Syracuse IL - Hendrickson, Pennsylvania OL - Troth, Princeton
Due to the financial woes of the depression, U.S. soccer laid low this year, and there were no tours by US teams abroad, nor any visits by touring teams to the United States.
1932 National Amateur Cup Final: Cleveland Shamrocks defeated New Bedford Santo Christo 2-1 on May 1.