The Year in American Soccer - 1939

Written by David Litterer

American Soccer League

The ASL added two teams this year, Baltimore German and Bethlehem Hungarian. Kearny Scots repeated as National Division champions, again beating out Brooklyn St. Mary's, but with a slightly more comfortable margin. Philadelphia Passon improved to third place, beating the NY Americans. Brookhattan took the American division in a close race that saw four teams battling till near the end of the season. The German-Americans and Kearny Irish tied for second with Brooklyn Hispano a point behind. The two new teams fared poorly, both finishing last in their divisions.

In the first round of playoffs, the Quaker City teams did well, with the German-Americans defeating Brooklyn St. Mary's 3-0 and Passon ousting Kearny Irish by an identical score. In the semi-finals, Kearny Scots advanced at the expense of Brookhattan 4-2 and 1-1, while the German-Americans defeated Passon 3-2. Kearny Scots won their second consecutive league title by beating the German-Americans 3-2 and 4-2. Bert Patenaude of Philadelphia Passon was the leading scorer with 24 goals.

   Final American Soccer League Standings, 1938-39

Before the season, Baltimore German and Bethlehem were added.  
Paterson moved to Trenton, absorbing the Trenton Highlanders,
an amateur team.  Brookhattan dropped “New York” from their name.

                              G    W   T   L   GF  GA  PTS
	National Division
Kearny Scots                 22   12   6   4            30
Brooklyn St. Mary's Celtics  22   11   4   7            26
Philadelphia Passon          22    8   7   7            23
New York Americans           22    9   4   9            22
Trenton Highlanders          22    5   4  13            14
Baltimore German             22    3   3  16             9

	American Division
Brookhattan                  22   13   4   5            30
Philadelphia German-American 22   12   4   6            28
Kearny Irish                 22   13   2   7            28
Brooklyn Hispano             22   11   5   6            27
Baltimore S.C.               23    9   2  11            20
Bethlehem Hungarian          22    3   1  18             7

First Round:     Philadelphia German-American defeated Brooklyn St. Mary’s 3-0
                 Philadelphia Passon defeated Kearny Irish 3-0
Semi-finals:     Kearny Scots defeated Brookhattan 4-2, 1-1
                 Philadelphia German-American defeated Philadelphia Passon 3-2
CHAMPIONSHIP:    Kearny Scots defeated Philadelphia German-American, 3-2, 4-2

LEADING SCORER: Bert Patenaude, Philadelphia Passon (24 goals)

                    - New England Division -

           (known teams; standings not available)
                         GP   W   T   L   PTS
Boston Celtics
Lusitania Recreation
Pawtucket FC

St. Louis Soccer League

The St. Louis League had essentially collapsed at the end of the 1937-38 season. In an effort to reorganize, the league organized the "Inter-city Soccer Loop" - an on-and-off competition between several teams from around the Midwest: Burke Undertakers and Lindell Trust of St. Louis, Manhattan Beer and Sparta of Chicago, and Bartunek Slavias of Cleveland. Sparta was a frequent winner of the Illinois State Peel Cup as well as perennial champion of the National Soccer League of Chicago, and as expected, did well in the brief series, winning all four of their games by a combined score of 11-5. The St. Louis teams also kept busy with exhibition games. But the series was sporadic and not a financial success, and at its conclusion, the St. Louis League went into history. For the next several years, St. Louisians would have to make do with the Municipal League and the various CYO loops.

              1938-39 SLSL Final League standings

                        "Inter-City Soccer Loop"
                       GP   W   L   T   GF  GA  Pts
Chicago Sparta          4   4   0   0   11   5   8
Manhattan Beer (Chic.)  5   3   1   1   21   3   7
Lindell Trust (St.L.)   6   2   2   2    8  13   6
Burke’s Undertakers     5   0   4   1    6  12   1
Bartunek Slavias (Clev.)1   0   1   0    0   4   0

Municipal League Champion: Schumachers

Amateur League & Cup Champions

New York State Senior Challenge Cup: Hatikvoh
New York State Qualifying Cup: Belfast United
German-American Soccer League (New York): S.D. S. C. Brooklyn (Major Division); Kollsman (Premier Division)
Metropolitan League (New York): Flatbush Wanderers (Premier Division); Belfast United (1st Division); Metropolitan Cup: Nassau
National Soccer League of New York: Danish
New Jersey State Challenge Cup: Kearny Scots
West Penn Challenge Cup: Fagan
Keystone League (Pittsburgh): Morgan
Washington County League (Pittsburgh): Lincoln Hill
Rowland Cup (Maryland State Open): Sixth District
Stewart Cup (MD): Little Joe's
Peel Cup (Illinois State): Sparta
California Senior Challenge Cup: Douglas Aircraft (Los Angeles)
John O. Bellis Perpetual Trophy: (not awarded)

National Team

The United States National team was not active this year.

International Tours

Scottish National Team: May 21, 1939 through June 21, 1939. Results: 4 wins, 1 draw, 0 losses.

The Scottish Football Association sent a team to tour the U.S. and Canada. It was billed as "The Scottish National Team," however, it was the weakest of the four teams that the Scottish F.A. had sent to North America to that point. Of the 17 players that toured in 1939 only six had actually played for Scotland, and only three of those six had played against England at Hampden Park just before the team sailed. In fact two of the 17 were not even Scots at all, full back Ben Ellis, was a Welsh international and while wing half William Lyon was an Englishman.

One of the games played in the U.S., early in the tour, was against an Eastern U.S. all-star team at the Polo Grounds before 25,072 fans, the game ending in a 1-1 tie. The Eastern U.S. team included many well known names. The line up was Stan Chesney - Fred Stoll, Al Harker - Jimmy McGuire, George Barr, Charles Altemose - Bob McIntyre, George Nemchik, Bert Patenaude, Ed Ruddy and George Conn. Jimmy McGuire later became president of the United States Soccer Football Association.

Later in the tour, the team representing the Scottish F.A. played an American Soccer League all-star team, also at the Polo Grounds. The two U.S. squads were remarkably similar, with Johnny Wojciechowicz, Razzo Carroll, Cooper and Jim Boyle, replacing McGuire, Patenaude, Ruddy and Conn. The two teams were tied 2-2 at the end of 90 minutes, but then agreed to play extra time, unusual for a friendly. The Scots scored twice in the added time to win 4-2.

Roster: R. Bolt, J. Carabine. J. Caskie, J. Dawson, J. Dykes, B. Ellis, A. Garrett, J. Gillies, D. Gray, G. Hamilton, J. Jones, W. Lyon, D. McAvoy, M. McDonald, T. McKenzie, T. McIntyre, A. McNab, R. Manderson.

5/21/39  Scotland 1, Eastern USA All-Stars 1 (at Polo Grounds, New York City; att: 25,072)
5/24/39  Scotland 7, Michigan Stars 1 (at Detroit)
5/28/39  Scotland 10, St. Louis Stars 2 (at St. Louis)
6/18/39  Scotland 4, American League Stars 2 (at Polo Grounds, New York City)
6/21/39  Scotland 3, New England Stars 1 (at Providence, RI)

The College Game

Intercollegiate Soccer Football Association Champion: Penn State, Princeton

Middle Atlantic Intercollegiate Soccer League: Princeton
Middle Atlantic States Athletic Conference: Haverford, Swarthmore
New England Intercollegiate Soccer League: Springfield
California Intercollegiate Soccer Conference Champion: San Jose State
College All-American Squad, 1939:
              - Middle Atlantic District -
G  - Robertson, Princeton
RF - McDonald, Pennsylvania
LF - Perry, Cornell
RH - Hostermann, Penn State
CH - Watts, Princeton
LH - Russell, Princeton
OR - Hunter, Pennsylvania
IR - Nemchik, Temple
CF - Powell, Princeton
IL - Crothers, Swarthmore
OL - Richardson, Princeton

               - New England District -
G  - Coote, Weslayen
RF - Gidney, Dartmouth
LF - Roberts, Springfield
RH - Babb, Springfield
CH - Bijur, Brown
LH - Fox, Williams
OR - Page, Harvard
IR - Gray, Springfield
CF - Munro, Springfield
IL - Erickson, Yale
OL - Mendel, Harvard

              - Southern District -
G  - Refo, Navy
RF - Partridge, Navy
LF - Grenough, Virginia
RH - Galbreath, Western Maryland
CH - Harnsberger, Davidson
LH - Hart, Towson
OR - Shock, Towson
IR - Briggs, Johns Hopkins
CF - Asan, Duke
IL - Parker, Navy
OL - Ernst, Maryland

Other Action

1939 National Challenge Cup Final: On April 30, Brooklyn St. Mary's Celtic earned the National Challenge Cup by defeating Brooklyn St. Mary's Celtics 1-0 on April 30 and 4-1 on May 7.

1939 National Amateur Cup Final: On May 14, Fall River St. Michaels SC defeated Pittsburgh Gallatin SC 3-1.

National Junior Cup Champion: Avella (Pa.) F.C.

Last update: April 16, 2005

Back to American Soccer History Archives main page