The Year in American Soccer – 1957

The American Soccer League

Changes were in store this season. One of the most venerable clubs, Brooklyn Hispano withdrew before the season and their players were dispersed among the remaining teams. Hispano had been one of the league’s premier teams during the 1930s and 1940s, but recently had struggled on the field. Just prior to the start of the season, Brooklyn Hakoah and New York Americans merged to become New York Hakoah. The Americans were one of the most storied clubs in the league’s history, having formed in the original ASL in 1931, by Erno Schwarz, currently ASL Business Manager. Schwarz had come over from Austria as a player for Vienna Hakoah, and guided the club through two league titles, a Lewis Cup and two U. S. Open Cup championships, as well as numerous exhibition trips across the US and Canada. The combining of their talent had a galvanizing effect, and the squad went on to dominate the season, eventually finishing with a 10-1-1 record, easily winning the league’s regular season championship. Their run included a 13-0 trouncing of Ludlow, which appeared to be an all-time high score for a league shutout. Hakoah went on to reach the finals of the U. S. Open Cup where they lost a two-leg series to St. Louis Kutis.

Ludlow improved considerably this season, and managed to eke out a third place finish. Baltimore, as usual continued to bring up the bottom of the table. The Uhrik truckers continued their winning ways, but Hakoah was simply unbeatable this season, and kept the lead right to the end of the season. Their success was more muted in Lewis Cup action: they finished 2-0-2, while the Elizabeth Falcons defeated Brooklyn to take the Cup.

The Uhrik Truckers launched an international goodwill program this year, presenting teams representing the crews of ships calling on Philadelphia. The teams were matched up in preliminary games occurring before Truckers home games. The effort was widely applauded, and popular with the fans. The ASL teams represented people of many nationalities this season: Newark Portuguese, Elizabeth Falcons (Polish), Hakoah (Jewish), Lusitanio (Portuguese), Rockets & Truckers (primarily Scottish, English and Irish).

                         Final League Standings, 1956-57

Before the season, Brooklyn Italians were added.
Early in the season, Brooklyn Hakoah and the New York Americans
merged to become New York Hakoah. Ludlow became Ludlow S.C.

                              G    W   T   L   GF  GA  PTS
New York Hakoah              12   10   1   1   44  10   21
Uhrik Truckers               14    7   1   6   37  27   15
Newark Portuguese            14    6   3   5   28  28   15
Elizabeth Falcons            13    6   2   5   37  26   14
Ludlow S.C.                  13    6   2   5   26  40   14
Brookhattan                  13    6   0   7   27  29   12
Brooklyn Italians            14    4   2   8   22  32   10
Baltimore Rockets            13    2   1  10   19  48    5

LEWIS CUP WINNER:  Elizabeth Falcons

LEADING SCORER:  George Brown, Elizabeth Falcons (13 goals)

Most valuable Player:  John Oliver, Uhrik Truckers

Other Leagues and Cups

German-American League (New York): New York Hungaria
National Soccer League of Chicago Schwaben
Peel Cup (Illinois State Championship: Eagles
Municipal League (St. Louis): Kutis
California State Association Senior Challenge Cup: Danish (Los Angeles)
Rowland Cup (Maryland State Championship): Central Valet K of C
Stewart Cup (MD): Community Jewelers
Michigan State Cup: Sport Club
Sport Guild Cup (MI): Ukrainian

The US National Team

The order for the day in 1957 could be summed up in three words: World Cup Qualifying. The US was placed in the North American Group along with Mexico and Canada. One team would qualify. US advance preparations were par for the course in this era: The players arrived in Mexico on three planes (from Los Angeles, Chicago and New York respectively). They had never played together before. Many met for the first time at the hotel. The squad included some seasoned veterans, including Walter Bahr, George Brown, Harry Keough, Gene Grabowski, Al Zerhusen. The extent of preparation showed when they met Mexico on a hot field at midday: A 6-0 rout.

Returning to Los Angeles the team had three weeks to practice, and added more firepower, with Ed Murphy, Terry Springthorpe, Lloyd Monsen and others. Despite the practice, they still faced the same challenges, including poor conditioning and a hostile crowd rooting for the other side As long as they could run, they could score. They took the early lead, but Mexico scored three unanswered goals within ten minutes. The US rallied and held their own for awhile, but Mexico scored four goals in the last 15 minutes on the way to a lopsided 7-2 victory. This left the US virtually out of contention with two games against Canada yet to come.

For the remaining games, the US took an unusual tack to try and make a long-shot comeback. The team was disbanded, and the entire St. Louis Kutis squad was drafted to represent the country. In theory this would provide a well seasoned and conditioned squad that had played together, as well as saving the Federation money. Kutis had won their league title as well as the U. S. Open Cup and National Amateur Cup trophies, but they were tired out from their grueling season schedule, and simply could not keep up with the well rested Canadians, losing both games by scores of 5-1 and 3-2 respectively. Thus ended another fruitless World Cup run.

    1957 Totals:  0W,  0D,  4L
Jul 06 57  L 2-3  Canada              1,500  St. Louis, MO, USA (WCQ'58)
               J. Murphy, Mendoza
Jun 22 57  L 1-5  Canada              5,167  Toronto, Canada (WCQ'58)
Apr 28 57  L 2-7  Mexico             12,500  Long Beach, CA, USA (WCQ'58)
               E. Murphy (2)
Apr 07 57  L 0-6  Mexico                     Mexico City, Mexico (WCQ'58)

International Tours

Glasgow Celtic (Scotland): May 19, 1957 through June 9, 1957

5/19/57   Celtic 3, Tottenham Hotspur 4 (at New York, att: 12,342)
5/25/57   Celtic vs. Uhrik Truckers (result not available)
5/26/57   Celtic 2, Hapoel Tel Aviv 1 (at New York, att: 10,000
5/29/57   Celtic 3, St. Louis (CYC) Stars 0 (at St. Louis, att: 3,000)
6/1/57    Celtic 3, Tottenham Hotspur 6 (at Vancouver, att: 20,784)
6/4/57    Celtic 5, San Francisco All-Stars 0 (at San Francisco, att: 10,000)
6/8/57    Celtic 1, Tottenham Hotspur 3 (at Toronto 24,000)
6/9/57    Celtic vs. Tottenham Hotspur (at Montreal, result not available)

Tottenham Hotspur (England): May 19, 1957 through June 9, 1957. Results: 7 wins, 0 draws, 2 losses)

5/19/57   Spurs 4, Celtic 3 (at new York, att: 12,342)
5/22/57   Spurs 8, Essex County All-Stars 1 (at Windsor, ON)
5/25/57   Spurs 7, Ontario All-Stars 0 (at Toronto, att: 10,206)
5/29/57   Spurs 6, Western All-Stars 1 (At Calgary, att: 4,500)
6/1/57    Spurs 6, Celtic 3 (at Vancouver , att: 20,784)
6/3/57    Spurs 0, British Columbia All-Stars 2 (att: 8,370)
6/5/57    Spurs 12, Manitoba All-Stars 0 (at Winnipeg)
6/8/57    Spurs 3, Celtic 1 (at Winnipeg)
6/9/57    Spurs 0, Celtic 2 (at Montreal)

Kaiserslautern (West Germany): May 5, 1957 through May 21, 1957. Results: 5 wins, 0 draws, 1 loss)

5/5/57    Kaiserslautern 0, German American All-Stars 1 (at New York, att: 24,831)
5/8/57    Kaiserslautern 5, St. Louis 2 (att: 4,000)
5/12/57   Kaiserslautern 6, Chicago All-Stars 2 (att: 12,000)
5/16/57   Kaiserslautern 10, Detroit All-Stars 3 (att: 5,500)
5/19/57   Kaiserslautern 10, Phoenix Stars 1 (at Philadelphia, att: 9,000)
5/21/57   Kaiserslautern 4, New York Hungarians 1 (at New York, att: 5,000)

Hapoel Tel Aviv (Israel): May 12, 1957 through May 26, 1957. Results: 1 win, 0 draws, 2 losses.

5/12/57   Hapoel 6, American Soccer League Stars 4 (at New York, att: 30,000)
5/18/57   Hapoel 2, Uhrik Truckers 3 (at Philadelphia, att: 5,000)
5/26/57   Hapoel 1, Glasgow Celtic 2 (at New York (?), att: 10,000)

Benefica (Portugal): No details available

The College Game

Although not recognized at the time, a significant event occurred this year as a student soccer club was formed at St. Louis University. This club would soon gain varsity status and go on to become the first true dynasty in college soccer.

National co-champions (as selected by the Intercollegiate Soccer Football Association): City College of New York, Springfield.

1957 College Conference Champions:

Northern California Soccer Conference: San Francisco
New England Intercollegiate Soccer League: Springfield
Ivy League:  Princeton
Metropolitan Intercollegiate Soccer Conference: City College of New York
Atlantic Coast Conference:  Maryland
Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate League:  Air Force, Colorado Mines
Midwestern Conference:  Purdue
Mason-Dixon Conference: Catholic
Southern California Soccer Association:  Cal Tech
Middle Atlantic States Athletic Conference: Swarthmore

College All-American Squad, 1957:

Goal               Michael Easterling, Wheaton
Right Fullback     John Nelson, Cornell
Left Fullback      Paul Coward, Purdue
Right Halfback     Daniel Sullivan, Springfield
Center Halfback    John Paranos, CCNY
Left Halfback      Newlin Otto, Earlham
Outside Right      Gerald Hustad, Franklin & Marshall
Inside Right       Per Torgenson, Penn State
Center Forward     Telahun Bakele, Purdue
Inside Left        Thomas Fleck, West Chester
Outside Left       Sergei Retlvov, Swarthmore

Other Results

National Challenge (U. S. Open) Cup: On March 31 and April 14 respectively, St. Louis Kutis defeated New York Hakoah of the American Soccer League 3-0 and 3-1.

1957 National Amateur Cup Final: On June 9, St. Louis Kutis defeated Rochester Ukrainian 1-0.

National Junior Challenge Cup: Lighthouse Boys Club

Canadian National Champion: 1957 Montreal Ukrainia defeated Vancouver North Shore 2-1.

Hall of Fame: In 1957, Arnold Ramsden and Vernon Reese were inducted.

NSCAA Honor Award: Allison W. Marsh, Amherst College & Earle C. Waters, West Chester State College