The Year in American Soccer - 1951

Written by David Litterer (spectrum@sover.net)


The American Soccer League

The American Soccer League returned the same contingent of teams for its 18th season. The Philadelphia Nationals won the Schroeder Cup as the regular season champion with a comfortable 5 point lead. Hakoah went undefeated in the Lewis Cup first round, but fell to the Nationals in the finals. The major success story of the season was the Kearney Scots squad which surged up to take 2nd place, chasing the Nats through much of the season. Behind them were the Celtics and Brookhattan, with the NY Americans falling to 5th place. The Nats went on to the Eastern Division final of the US Open Cup, but lost a three-game series to German-Hungarian S.C. of Brooklyn.

Nick Kropfelder won his second league scoring title and John McDonald of the Kearney Scots was named Most Valuable Player. After the season, Trenton withdrew from the league after losing their home field. After the season, the ASL sponsored an American tour by Glasgow Celtic, who played an ASL all-star team, and also against Fulham and Eintracht in the city (see results below under "international tours".

                         Final League Standings, 1950-51

(GF/GA data is as of 1/21/51; when 11-12 games were played)

                              G    W   T   L   GF  GA  PTS
Philadelphia Nationals        13  11   0   2   47  19   22
Kearny Scots                  14   7   3   4   29  20   17
Kearny Celtic                 13   6   3   4   18  16   15
Brookhattan                   13   6   0   7   22  26   12
New York Americans            15   5   2   8   26  30   12
Philadelphia Americans        12   5   1   6   21  26   11
Trenton Americans             12   5   0   7   21  21   10
Brooklyn Hakoah               13   4   2   7   14  29   10
Brooklyn Hispano              13   4   1   8   16  27    9

LEAGUE CHAMPION:  Philadelphia Nationals.

After the season, Kearny Celtic and Trenton withdrew. 

                                  Lewis Cup

Brooklyn Hakoah                4   3   1   0             7
Philadelphia Nationals         4   3   0   1             6
Philadelphia Americans         4   3   0   1             6
Brookhattan                    4   2   0   2             4
Kearny Celtic                  4   2   0   2             4
Kearny Scots                   4   2   0   2             4
Brooklyn Hispano               4   0   1   3             1
New York Americans             4   0   0   4             0

PLAYOFF:  Philadelphia Nationals defeated Brooklyn Hakoah.

LEADING SCORER: Nick Kropfelder, Philadelphia Nationals (17 goals)
Most Valuable Player: John Donald, Kearney Scots


National Soccer League (Chicago)

In a season buffeted by challenging weather, the Slovaks finished a magnificent season to take the Major Division title. Their only loss was a game which the team forfeited, having already clinched the league title. The Eagles fell to 2nd place, and Sparta took third. The new Lions team finished a respectable 4th.

The indoor season expanded to 17 teams, split into two divisions. Once again, the Eagles took the Major Division indoor title, but only by a razor thin 1 point margin over the greatly improved Slovaks. Vikings took third, having gained two points on successful protests. In the First Division, the Falcons took top spot, with Maroons, Wisla and Lions in a three-way tie for second. Indoor games were played on a 65 by 42 yard pitch, using sideboards. Two games of 25 minutes each (in halves) were played by each team each Sunday over a 7 week season (14 games total).


          Final League Standings, Major Division, 1951

                GP   W   L   T   Pts
Slovaks         13  11   1   1   23
Eagles          14   9   4   1   19
Sparta          14   6   5   3   15
Lions           14   6   6   2   14
Hansa           14   6   7   1   13
Schwaben        14   6   7   1   13
Vikings         14   3   8   3    9
Hakoah          14   0   9   4    4

LEAGUE OUTDOOR CHAMPION:  Slovaks

          Final League Standings, Indoor Major Division, 1951

                GP   W   L   T   Pts
Eagles          14   8   1   5   21
Slovaks         14  10   2   2   20
Vikings         14   5   4   5   17
Sparta          14   5   5   4   14
Schwaben        14   4   8   2   12
Hakoah          14   4   7   3   11
Necaxa          14   5   8   1    9
Hansa           14   3   9   2    8

LEAGUE INDOOR CHAMPION: Eagles
PEEL CUP WINNER:  Slovaks


German-American Soccer League (New York)

The German-Hungarians a great year. Besides winning the German-American League title, they went on to win the National Amateur Cup and the US Open Cup, making them the true US champions for 1950-51. The Knitters, as the club was known, started their memorable season by taking the Henry Webel trophy for winning the Ridgewood Cup tournament, and then took the Ernest Munzenmaier Cup for winning the Queens Tournament.

Then it was off to the GASL season. After losing its opening game to defending champs Eintracht, the Knitters battled through a rocky and unpredictable season, switching from league matches to cup ties, taking the US Open and Amateur Cups before returning to defeat the Swiss Americans for the GASL league title. The Knitters beat the Swiss by a single point for the league title; right behind were Hoboken and defending champs Eintracht. The Greek-Americans went an amazing 17-0-3 to win the Premier Division. The GASL put on one of the best international tours of the season, bringing over Eintracht SC of Germany for a very successful U.S. tour.

       Final League Standings, Major Division, 1950-51

                     GP   W  L  T PTS
German-Hungarians    17  13  3  1  27
Swiss                18  11  3  4  26
Hoboken              18  11  5  2  24
Eintracht            18  10  5  3  23
Newark               17   8  5  4  20
Elizabeth            18   7  6  5  19
Pfaelzer             18   5  9  4  14
Brooklyn             18   4 10  4  12
Hota                 18   3 14  1   7
New York             18   2 14  2   6

MAJOR DIVISION CHAMPION:  German-Hungarians
PREMIER DIVISION CHAMPION:  Greek-Americans
Major Reserve Division Champion:  New York
Premier Reserve Division Champion:  Greek-American
A division Champion:  Lithuanian
B Division Champion:  Eintracht


St. Louis Major Soccer League

The St. Louis Major League had a bad year financially, due primarily to the high rental cost of Sportsman's Park, the venue for all league games. As a result, the league was looking to move to a new stadium for the next season. The other major negative event was the complete collapse of Simpkins. Although Simpkins had some success in the US Open Cup, they lost out to Zenthoefers by 6 points, due mainly to the failure of their forwards to take advantage of scoring opportunities. Kutis brought up third, with Brehenys taking last.

Hal Wiegel was top goal scorer, with 20 goals, despite joining the army in December. Bill Looby was next with 18 goals. Schumacher won the senior division of the Municipal Athletic League. Craig #1 won the Senior Division-North, and beat Schumacher to be overall Division champion. Craig Club Juniors also took the Junior Division title.

                     St. Louis Major League Standings, 1951

                 GP   W   L   T   GF  GA  PTS
Zenthoefers      22  16   5   2   64  37  34
Simpkins         23  10   9   4   44  38  24
Kutis            20   8   9   3   42  41  19
Brehenys         20   3  14   3   26  60   9


Pittsburgh Area Soccer

There was a notable decline of soccer activity in the Pittsburgh region due to the loss of players into the army for the war effort. The Westmoreland County League folded, with several teams migrating to other leagues. For the third straight season, Harmarville SC won the West Penn championship. They then went to the finals of the National Amateur Cup where they lost to German-Hungarians 4-3 in OT, in Brooklyn. Harmarville also won the Keystone League after an exhausting campaign which included winning the playoff to break a three-way tie for top place in the regular season standings. Heidelberg, the "Green and Gold Tornado" went to the US Open Cup finals where they also lost to German-Hungarians 4-2 and 6-2.

       1951 Keystone League Standings

                    GP  W  L  T  Pt
Harmarville          10  4  2  4  12
Heidelberg          10  4  2  4  12
Morgan              10  6  4  0  12
Curry Vets          10  4  4  2  10
Beadling            10  3  5  2   8
Castle Shannon      10  2  6  2   6
Playoffs:  Harmarville defeated Heidelberg 3-1 and Morgan 2-0.

Second Division Champion: Cecil (15-3-1-31)

WEST PENN CUP:  Harmarville defeated Heidelberg 5-1, 2-2, 1-2.


Other Amateur League and Cup Champions

California Challenge Cup: San Francisco A. C.
John O. Bellis Perpetual Trophy: San Francisco A.C.
San Francisco City Cup: San Francisco A.C.
Greater Los Angeles League: Maygars defeated LA Scots 3-2, 2-0
Southern California League: Yugoslavs won the 1st half, but resigned to join the Los Angeles League. Swiss defeated St. Stephens to break a 2nd place tie and win the 1st half title. Atlas won the 2nd half, and Swiss defeated Atlas 3-1, 1-1 to win the League title.
San Francisco Soccer League: San Francisco A.C. (1st division) (14-8-3-3-19); Hakoah (second division) (18-14-0-4-32); Nicaragua (Alliance Division) (8-7-0-1-15)
Rocky Mountain Tournament (Colorado): School of Mines (7-0-1-15) (also won Spalding Cup)
National Soccer League of Connecticut: Vasco de Gama (8-1-1-17); State Amateur League: Greenport United (8-1-1-17)
Connecticut State Cup: Hartford Scandia
Baltimore Major League: Baltimore Pompei (6-1-1-13)
Rowland State Open Championship (Maryland): Our Lady of Pompei
Amateur Stewart Cup (Maryland): Pompei
Washington County League: Williamsport (10-0-0-20)
Washington Suburban League: Hotel Charles
Pen-Mar League:: Chesapeake City
Massachusetts State Championship: Lusitanio Recreation of Cambridge
Boston & District League: Lusitanio Recreation of Cambridge
George Ritchie Memorial Plaque (So. New England): New Bedford
Fall River District league: Peaches (18-2-1-37)
New Jersey State Challenge Cup: Newark
New York State Senior Challenge Cup: Eintracht
Dr. Manning Challenge Cup: Swiss Reserves
Eastern District League (New York): New World
National Soccer League of New York: Paterson (League)
Metropolitan District League: Sada (Premier Division); Brooklyn Wanderers (First Division); Sada F.C. (Challenge Cup)
Central New York Soccer League: Schnectady FC
American Soccer League of Cleveland: American Screw, Canton, Bartunek (tied in National Division); Youngstown (International Division)
Ohio State Cup: St. Stephens defeated Hungarian B.M.C. 2-1, 1-2, 2-1.
Philadelphia League: Thomas Celtic (16-1-0-32)
Palmer Cup (Philadelphia): Kensington Bluebells
West Penn Cup: Harmarville defeated Heidelberg 5-1, 2-2, 1-2.
Dallas Association League: Ralph J. Mulhauser SC
Wisconsin State League: Richard Rich Tigers 1 (spring season)


The US National Team

The United States National Team did not play any games this year.


International Tours

A.I.K. of Stockholm, Sweden: June 8 1951 through July 3, 1951. record: 10 wins, 1 draw, 2 losses.

Roster: Karl Ahlstrom, Lennert Askinger, Bertil Backwall, Lennert Carlsson, Ake Fransson, Eric Grubb, Bengt Kjell, Olle Klasson, Lars Larsson, Rune Larsson, Borje Leander, Elof Melin, Gosta Nilsson, Ingvar Olsson, Gunnar Oqvist, Ulf Ostlund, Ake Sandberg, Ake Svedberg. Manager: Herbert Ohlsson.

6/8/51   A.I.K. 1, New England Stars 2 (Fall River)
6/10/51  A.I.K. 4, American League Stars 0 (Randalls Island, New York City)
6/11/51  A.I.K. 2, West Pennsylvania Stars 2 (Bridgeville, PA)
6/13/51  A.I.K. 6, Michigan Stars 1 (Detroit)
6/16/51  A.I.K. 2, Vancouver Stars 3 (Vancouver)
6/17/51  A.I.K. 12, Viking S.C. 2 (Seattle)
6/19/51  A.I.K. 8, Chicago Stars 1 (Chicago)
6/22/51  A.I.K. 7, Scandinavian Stars 0 (Rockford, IL)
6/24/51  A.I.K. 7, Chicago Stars 1 (Chicago)
6/27/51  A.I.K. 2, Hamilton Stars 0 (Hamilton, Ont)
6/29/51  A.I.K. 5, Montreal Stars 0 (Montreal)
7/1/51   A.I.K. 6, Ludlow Lusitanio 1 (Worcester, MA)
7/3/51   A.I.K. 7, German-Hungarians 3 (Brooklyn, NY)

Eintracht Frankfurt of Germany: May 6, 1951 to June 30, 1951. results: 6 wins 0 draws 2 losses.

Roster: Adolph Bechtold (Capt.), Walter Giller, Werner Heilig, Helmut Henig, Joachim Janisch, Heinz Kastar, Herbert Kesper, Ludwig Kolb, Alfred Kraus, Kurt Kroemmelbein, Ernst Kudras, Alfred Pfaff, Hubert Schieth, Hans Wiocka. Coach: Kurt Windmann.

5/6/51   Eintracht 5, German American League stars 2 (Randalls Island, NYC)
5/11/51  Eintracht 13, Buffalo Becks 1 (Buffalo)
5/13/51  Eintracht 5, Toledo Turners 1 (Toledo)
5/14/51  Eintracht 1, Zenthoefers 2 (St. Louis)
5/20/51  Eintracht 5, Midwest All-Stars 0 (Milwaukee)
5/23/51  Eintracht 5, German-Hungarian-Brooklyn SC's 1 (Brooklyn)
5/27/51  Eintracht 7, New Jersey Stars 0 (Union City, NJ)
5/30/51  Eintracht 1, Glasgow Celtic 3 (Randalls Island)

Fulham of London, England: May 24, 1951 to June 10, 1951. results: 6 wins, 2 draws, 2 losses.

Roster: J. Bacuzzi, I. Black, J. Bowie, R. Brennan, J. Campbell, H. Freeman, B. Jezzard, R. Lawlor, E. Lowe, R. Lowe, A. MacAuley, W. Pavitt, L. Quested, R. Robson, A. Stevens, J. Taylor, R. Thomas.

5/24/51  Fulham 3, Ontario Stars 0 (Toronto)
5/27/51  Fulham 0, Glasgow Celtic 2 (Randalls Island, NYC)
5/29/51  Fulham 2, Montreal Stars 2 (Montreal)
6/2/51   Fulham 3, Alberta Stars 1 (Edmonton)
6/5/51   Fulham 2, British Columbia Stars 0 (Vancouver, BC)
6/7/51   Fulham 0, Victoria Stars 1 (Victoria, BC)
6/9/51   Fulham 2, British Columbia Stars 0 (Vancouver)
6/13/51  Fulham 5, Winnipeg Stars 1 (at Winnipeg)
6/16/51  Fulham 1, Glasgow Celtic 1 (Toronto)
6/20/51  Fulham 3, Glasgow Celtic 2 (Montreal)

Glasgow Celtic of Scotland: May 29, 1951 to June 20, 1951. results: 7 wins, 1 draw, 1 loss.

Roster: Joe Baillie, Alex Boden, Bobby Collins, Bobby Evans, Sean Fallon, William Fernie, George Hunter, James Mallan, John McGrory, John McPhail, John Milsop, Roy Mine, Bert peacock, Eric Rollo, Charles Tully, Jock Wier. Manager: Jimmy McGrory.

5/20/51  Glasgow Celtic 5, American League Stars 1 (Randalls Island, NYC)
5/27/51  Glasgow Celtic 2, Fulham SC 0 (Randalls Island, NYC)
5/30/51  Glasgow Celtic 3, Eintracht SC 1 (Randalls Island, NYC)
6/3/51   Glasgow Celtic 6, Philadelphia Stars 2 (Philadelphia)
6/5/51   Glasgow Celtic 2, National league stars (Toronto)
6/8/51   Glasgow Celtic 4, Chicago Eagles 0 (Detroit)
6/16/51  Glasgow Celtic 1, Fulham FC 1 (Toronto)
6/17/51  Glasgow Celtic 2, New Jersey Stars 0 (Kearny, NJ)
6/20/51  Glasgow Celtic 2, Fulham FC 3 (Montreal)

All-England: May 9, 1951. Result: 1 win.

Roster-All-England: Bertram (Charlton), Bamford (Bristol Rovers), McCue (Stoke city), Parker (West Ham United), Owen (Luton), Shaw (Sheffield Wednesday), Hurst (Charlton), Sewell (Sheffield Wednesday), Clarke (Portsmouth), Smith (Birmingham), Langton (Bolton Wanderers).

Roster-American League Stars: McPhail, Donald, White, Devlin, Maca, Monsen, Boulos, Decker, A. Sheppell, Ferreira, Bahr (Sub).

5/9/51  All-England 4, American League Stars 0 (at Croke Park, New York City)

Penn State College to Iran: March 25, 1951 to April 1, 1951. Results: 1 win, 0 draws, 2 losses.

Roster: Gus Bigott, Clare Buss, Jack Charlton, Ron Codey, Ron Coleman, George Enig, Frank Follmer, Hap Irwin, Kurt Klaus, Ellis Kocher, Jack Kurty, Harry Little, John Pinezich, Jay Simmons, Bill Yerkes. Coach: Bill Jeffrey.

3/25/51  Penn State 0, Isfahan 2 (at Isfahan)
3/27/51  Penn State 3, Shiraz 0 (Shiraz)
4/1/51   Penn State 0, Iran National Team 5 (Teheran)

New York Americans to Bermuda: March 18, 1951 to March 25, 1951. Results: 3 wins, 1 draw, 0 losses.

Roster: Billy Adair, Ed Borkowski, Cornelius Casey, Sol Einer, Carl Erickson, Erwin Fisterwald, Ed Flynn, Alec Henderson, Jack Hynes, Roy Isaksen, Jake Lorenz, Lloyd Monsen, Erno Schwarz. Manager: Jimmy Sitken

3/18/51  New York Americans 7, Key West Rangers 3 (Hamilton)
3/22/51  New York Americans 3, Bermuda F.A. Stars 3 (Hamilton)
3/23/51  New York Americans 4, Pembroke Juniors 1 (Hamilton)
3/25/51  New York Americans 6, Bermuda F.L. Stars 1 (Hamilton)

American League Stars to Israel: October 16, 1951 through October 22, 1951). Results: 1 win, 0 draws, 2 losses.

Roster:John Agnew (Brooklyn Hispano); Walter Bahr (Philadelphia Nationals); John Boulous (Hakoah); Otto Decker (Hakoah); John Devlin (Irish Americans); John Donald (Scots Americans); Sol Eisner (New York Americans); Erwin Finsterwald (New York Americans); John Hughes (Philadelphia Americans); Bob Gormley (Philadelphia Americans); Duncan McPhail (Irish Americans); Tom Oliver (Philadelphia Nationals); Len Owen (Philadelphia Nationals); Art Sheppell (Scots Americans); William Stark (Irish Americans). Manager: Jack Flamhaft (Hakoah); League Directors: William Walker (Philadelphia Americans), John Hogan (Irish Americans).

10/16/51  American league 0, Hapoel 2 (in Ram-a-gant)
10/19/51  American League 0, Maccabi 3 (in Jaffa)
10/22/51  American League 2, Hapoel-Haifa 1 (in Haifa)


The College Game

In January 1951, the second College Soccer Bowl was held, determining the champion of the 1950 season. However, it did not determine the true national college champion. San Francisco, repeating as the West Coast champion, was again unable to make the trip to St. Louis. In an inexplicable decision, the second place team from the Midwest Conference, was sent to St. Louis (in place of conference champion Wheaton) to play the East Coast champion, Penn State in the Soccer Bowl. Penn State won the Bowl 3-1, but this left unclear the question of who was really best, since San Francisco was never matched against them. West Chester's election as national champion merely added to the confusion, raising serious questions about the tournamentís viability.

Despite the confusion of the 1951 championships, the 1951 soccer season was one to remember. the San Francisco Dons scored 47 goals, winning all 12 games. In the East, the Temple Owls extended their unbeaten streak to 47 games, going 7-0-1, and securing their spot in the Soccer Bowl. Temple won that contest (in January 1952), and were voted national champion. This time, there was no doubt about who was best, but the Soccer Bowl was discontinued. It did however, cause a great upsurge of interest in soccer in the Midwest, and the 1951 season indicated a shift in the balance of power, with 5 Midwesterners making the college All-American team. Yale repeated as New England champions, Chicago won the Midwest, and perfect records were attained by Oberlin, USF, Brockport and RPI. Over 5,000 attended a North-South All-Star Game at La Salle College in Philadelphia, won by the North, 3-2.

1951 College Conference Champions:
Soccer Bowl, 1951 (1950 season championship): Penn State defeated Purdue 3-1 at St. Louis.
Intercollegiate Soccer Football Association (ISFA): Temple

California Intercollegiate Soccer Conference: San Francisco
Eastern Intercollegiate Soccer League:  Army
Mason-Dixon Conference: Baltimore
Metropolitan Intercollegiate Soccer Conference: City College of New York
Middle Atlantic States Athletic Conference: Lehigh
Midwestern Conference: Chicago
New England Intercollegiate Soccer League: Yale, Dartmouth
Rocky Mountain College Conference: School of Mines (Fall, 1951); Denver Turners (Spring, 1952)
Southern California Soccer Association: Cal Tech

College All-American Squad, 1951:

Goal               Richard Miller, Oberlin
Right Fullback     Thomas Morrell, Indiana
Left Fullback      Jacques Auguste, Rennsellaer
Right Halfback     James Hannah, Seton Hall
Center Halfback    Robert Palmer, Oberlin
Left Halfback      Eugene Orbaker, Brockport
Outside Right      Thomas Kennan, Earlham
Inside Right       George Place, Swarthmore
Center Forward     George Boateng, Cornell
Inside Left        Peter Bellows, Oberlin
Outside Left       Anthony Puglisi, West Chester


Other Results

1951 US Open Cup Final: New York German-Hungarian defeated Pittsburgh Heidelberg on June 10 and 17, 2-4 and 6-2, to win on goals aggregate.

1951 National Amateur Cup Final: New York German Hungarian SC (GAL) defeated Pittsburgh Harmarville, 4-3.

National Junior Challenge Cup: Seco Boys Club, St. Louis.

Canadian National Champion: Toronto Ulster United defeated Vancouver St. Andrew's in Montreal to win the Canadian Challenge Cup.

National Soccer Hall of Fame: In 1951, the Hall of Fame inducted Harold Brittan, George Matthew Collins, Edward Donaghy, Rudy Epperlein, Harry Fairfield, John A. Fernley, William Fryer, George Healey, Alfredda Iglehart, Bill Jeffrey, James McGuire, John McGuire, Dent McSkimming, Robert Morrison, Peter J. Peel, Pete Renzulli, Elmer Shroeder, Erno Schwarz, Alfred A. Smith and Thomas Swords.

NSCAA Honor Award: Thomas J. Dent, Dartmouth College


Last update: February 17, 2008

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