Menu JTA Search

Slants on Sports

SIGN UP FOR THE JTA DAILY BRIEFING

From Peoria and Timbuctoo, ## Haifa and Halifax, and from more remote regions, namely Brooklyn and the Bronx, we have been receiving numerous requests to publish news of interest to soccer fans at large.

A soccer fan is something of an anomaly. He takes his sport more serious than even the most rabid baseball rooter and if he happens to live in the Bronx he follows his team whether it wins or loses. In this respect he is akin to the Dodger enthusiasts. For years the Flatbush fans have followed the Flock despite the antics of a Babe Herman or a Hack Wilson. Likewise the football fanciers from the territory north of the Harlem have withstood the vagaries of wind and storm so common in the Bronx, have listened to argument after argument, and still they are het up about their game.

But, taken by and large, we have here in the city one of the finest collection of soccer fans–not under glass–but alive and kicking like a fight crowd at the Garden after one of the typical Eighth avenue decisions.

WEALTH OF GOOD MATERIAL IN CITY

There is a reason for this. Some of the best soccer talent in the United States is harbored here in little old New York.

From all outward appearances these fans would rather see an amateur team play than a professional game. This may account for many of the pros turning amateur these days. The pro soccerites figure that they’ll be sure of a cheer at least and as a result play a much better game, not having to worry about their five dollar salaries at the end of the game. ## accounts too, for the fact that if a professional ball club wishes to attract a really large crowd to their games they book two amateur clubs as prelims.

TWO LEAGUES IN CITY

However, to get down to the real thing. There are two leagues in the city of any real importance to the Jewish soccer fan. They are the American Soccer league, which is the professional division and the German American league, the amateur organization.

The first of these associations has eight teams playing in the metropolitan area and has a great many Jewish players in its folds. The second group contains the three most prominent amateur Jewish soccer teams. The fact that such excellent ball clubs should be in a German league has ## endless discussion during the past few months. These great teams, the Jordans, the Hakoahs and Hatikvohs, play a brand of ball that is swift, aggressive, and highly technical and certainly more spirited than a number of professional teams that we have seen.

There is need for a good Jewish soccer league today. Some have been started in the past but they have not proved to be very successful. As a result the three Jewish clubs have been forced to allign themselves with the best amateur league in the city, specifically, the German American league. In fact the Nazi press in New York has even published the scores of these teams in their sport ## Which means that they really must be good.

MANY HAVE PLAYED ABROAD

Many players in both leagues received their training in this game in the sport capitals of Europe, Vienna, the city that is famous for its wine, music, and wienerschnitzel, is also the city of football champions. A great number of soccer stars in this country learned their fundamentals abroad and by the time they came to America they had mastered the finesse and technique which a really good player needs. The majority of the players on the Hakoah eleven were born in Europe and developed their game abroad.

THE HAKOAHS

The Hakoahs are the league leaders in the race for honors in the “A” division of the German American league this season. This team has a fine group of athletes representing the club on the football field. Max Sholom, who played with the Jordans last year, is booting the ball through the goal posts for the Hakoahs this season. The older Liss boys, Max Slone, brother of the great Phil, Irving Bartfeld, and Max Ruback are playing in grand style and are the chief reasons why their team has won twelve of its games thus far. Ruback and Bartfeld are just two of the footballers in this club who began their soccer careers on the continent.

THE HATIKVOHS

The Hatikvoh players, on the other hand, are composed chiefly of American born talent. Its present roster includes many former high school stars and boasts of the best local American amateur athletes. Just to mention a few of the players is like presenting a soccer galaxy. The London brothers, Dave and Jack, Joe Altman, one of the fastest wingmen in the game today, and Joe Egar are responsible for the fine showing this team has been making all year. This club was formerly the Brooklyn United and only recently have changed their name to the Hatikvohs.

Incidentally Jack London is one of the best handball players in the country.

THE JORDANS

The Jordan club is a comparatively new club but nevertheless has the best young talent in these sections. Also, it plays one of the finest brands of football that we have seen performed in the East. They play on the style of the former Hakoah all-stars and as a result have a great following in the Bronx. The fans, as we mentioned before, would rather see these Jordans play than watch a pro team cavort on the field.

Jack Nagler, who played in Vienna several years ago, is in our estimation the best technician in the amateur ranks. It is said of him that he “can make a soccer ball talk.” Chester Marks, former all-scholastic while on his high school team, is another star soccerite on this club. Sid Breitbart is one of the all-round men you find on every team. He is such an adept at this sport that he can be put in at any position and shine there. He is twenty years old and hails from Europe where he learned his game. Kid Liss, who played for his junior high eleven and who has just entered high school, is following in the footsteps of his older brothers. He is a crack amateur player. Abe Roth, another youngster who has shown a great deal of promise, played for his junior high and at James Monroe in the Bronx. He too, learned his technique in Vienna. At present he is forced to sit on the sidelines and watch the game, due to an ankle injury he suffered some time ago.

If the Fordham-N. Y. U. football game is known as the battle of the Bronx, we have a counterpart for it in soccer, whenever these teams line up against each other it is known as the Bronx Derby.

THE PRO SOCCERITES

As for the professional players, who have a league all their own, we can say this. There are eight teams in the metropolitan division of the American soccer league. The United States Football Association controls this league and its president is very much in favor of professional soccer clubs. In fact it is from these sources that this association derives most of its revenue.

The pro soccer game at one time used to be exceptionally strong in this country but in 1928 it dropped to the bottom, setting an all-time record for a low-water mark. Since then, however, it has been on the upgrade, especially here in the East. The best efforts to build up a strong, highly efficient soccer league are concentrated right here in New York City.

MANY JEWISH STARS IN PRO GAME

The Irish Americans are leading the league but the two teams with a large Jewish representation on its rosters are not so far behind the leaders. The N. Y. Americans, in second place, and the Brookhattans in fifth, have such crack players on their teams as Chesney, Gross, Slone, Aitken, Wortman, Arnauer, Glover and Kuntner.

Stan Chesney, according to the Soccer Star, “was not picked to go to Rome because the U. S. F. A. could not pay him the salary he wanted.” It seems that Stan can make more playing in his own backyard. Trip or no trip, he says he has to eat.

Phil Sone is an outstanding player in every phase of the game. He plays on the same combination with Siggy Wortman who owns the most elusive pair of hips in the game. It is rumored that Siggy’s movements on the field would put Gilda Gray to shame any day in the week including Sunday night.

SOCCER SHIFTS

The national cup competition is the blue ribbon event in soccor tournaments. It is an open match but it is a “knockout” competition. A team has to lose but one game to be dropped from the running.

What soccer really needs in this country is some of the fine traditions and heritages of the sport that are so important in athletid life on the continent.

CONEY ISLAND

Sammy Stein, Jewish grappler, makes his first start in a campaign to land a shot at the world’s championship when he takes on Mike Romano of Italy in the feature bout to a finish at Staunch’s Coney Island Arena Friday night.

Eli Fischer, Jewish star from Rutgers University, meets Marshall Blackstock of the University of Georgia in a time limit engagement. Hans Steinke takes on Buck Weaver in another time limit bout.

RIDGEWOOD GROVE TONIGHT

As a warm-up for Friday’s wrestling match Fischer meets “Rowdy Rudy” Dusek in a special attraction.

Abe Coleman, who is considered the Hebrew champion, meets Hans Kampfer, the German Apollo.

NEXT STORY