TheCup.us introduces “The First Cup” series, which revisits the first running of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup (then known as the National Challenge Cup) that took place from the fall of 1913 to the spring of 1914.
Editor’s note: As you read this, you’ll notice a lot of players with just one name. This is not an oversight on our part, but rather, many of the sources of this information (newspapers, publications etc.) only use the last name of players in their stories. If you have confirmation of any of their names, or any other details that would add to our historical records, feel free to reach out to us HERE. We are always looking for help with historical research.
Links to the full series are located at the bottom of this story.
A pair of games had already kicked off the second round of the inaugural National Challenge Cup, but neither had produced a winner on game day. New York teams Hudson United FC and St. George FC finished in a scoreless draw on Nov. 30, and a replay was scheduled for Dec. 14. Rochester’ MacNaughton FC defeated the Niagara Falls Rangers 1-0, but the United States Football Association (USFA) was in the process of reviewing a protest submitted by the losing side.
The second round continued with six games on Dec. 6, when action took place in Chicago, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and New Bedford, Mass. In Philadelphia, the West Philadelphia FC advanced to the third round of the National Challenge Cup with a resounding 4-1 victory over Allied League rivals Kensington AFC. Ligget and Anderson scored two goals each for West Philly, while Dunkinfield netted the lone tally for Kensington. West Philadelphia had been sitting atop the Allied League standings with a 4-2-0 record, while Kensington occupied the bottom rung of the eight-team league at 0-5-0.
In what the Philadelphia Inquirer described as “A splendidly fought game”, Wissiniming and Peabody FC played to a 1-1 draw in their second round contest in Philly. Wissinoming, of the Pennsylvania League, scored first when midfielder R. Hyslop took a shot that Peabody goalkeeper Hanna has no chance to save. Maryley answered for the Allied American League side in the second half with the tying score. New Bedford FC, who were awarded their opening round match over Farr Alpaca when the Holyoke, Mass.-based club chose to play a league game instead of their replay at New Bedford, overcame Presbyterian FC of Bridgeport, CT by a 3-0 score. After Alpaca’s forfeit, New Bedford remained the state of Massachusetts’ lone representative and they moved on to Round 3 by eliminating the state of Connecticut’s only entry.
Despite frigid winter conditions, Hyde Park Blues and Pullman FC each won their second round games in Chicago. At 52nd Avenue and West Madison Street, Pullman made easy work of Campbell Rovers with a 3-0 win, as they avenged a recent loss in the Association Football League of Chicago. With a biting breeze from the north, passing was made difficult on the slippery pitch that was frozen solid. These conditions reduced scoring chances to dumping the ball into the goalmouth and try for any kind of shot. Pullman had the clear advantage over Campbell, and their goalkeeper Sutton did not handle the ball at all in the first half, only needing to kick it away twice. After McNaughton and Mackie scored in the first half to give Pullman a 2-0 lead, the car builders bunkered down their defense and smothered any Campbell chances. Shalcross added a third goal in the second half to put the game out of reach. At 16th Street and 48th Avenue, the Hyde Park Blues outlasted MacDuff FC 2-0 in the arctic conditions on goals from Cole and Mair. Both sides were reduced to 10 men in the game, as Halsall of MacDuffs and Jack Evans of Hyde Park left the game late in the second half, due to complications from the cold.
Hyde Park will move on to face Pullman in the next round, although there was word that the MacDuff club would lodge a protest over a player in the Hyde Park lineup, who they believed to be ineligible. This protest, along with Niagara Falls Rangers’ protest over their loss against MacNaughton FC, will be reviewed by the USFA and ruled on before the Round 3 draw on Dec. 14. The main attraction of the day was the showdown between Pittsburgh’s Braddock FC and Bethlehem FC at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh. Braddock had just concluded the first half of the Pittsburgh District League, finishing second (6-1-2) to Homestead Steel Works, though they would later slip down the standings in the second half and finish with a 7-10-3 record. Bethlehem was at the beginning of a season that would provide a glimpse of the future success the team would have when they would become Bethlehem Steel FC the following season. At the time of the game with Braddock, Bethlehem was 3-0-0 in the Allied American League and they were due to face West Hudson in the quarterfinals of the American Cup. By the time their season ended in May 1914, they had won the Allied League with a 13-0-0 record, the American Cup championship and the Allied League Cup.
Despite the threat of poor weather, nearly 3,000 fans, along with 250 supporters who traveled from Bethlehem, turned up at Forbes Field to witness the first National Cup game ever played in the Steel City. Braddock kicked off and just twelve minutes into the match, Bethlehem was awarded a penalty kick. Tommy Fleming stepped up and beat Braddock goalkeeper Marshall for a 1-0 lead, which Bethlehem held on to at half time. For most of the first half, play stayed in the Braddock half of the field, but in the second half Braddock came to life, and with ten minutes gone, Kelly tied the score for the home club. It only took ten more minutes for Braddock to retake the lead on a goal from McCann. The Pittsburgh Press described McCann’s play leading up to the goal as a “scientific exhibition of footwork.”
With five minutes remaining, it seemed as if Braddock would pull off the upset, but Fleming dashed those hopes with a free kick to tie the game at 2-2. With darkness approaching, the lights at Forbes Field were turned on and extra time was soon under way. With two minutes remaining in the first extra period, Fleming earned his hat trick with a goal that put Bethlehem in the lead for good. Fleming’s play was described by the Pittsburgh Press: “This player was by far the best man on the visiting team. He is scientific and as fast as the wind. His aim is sure and his opponents’ goal is in danger when he secures the ball within kicking range.”
The 1913-14 season was Fleming’s first in the United States, having played in Scotland for Greenock Morton. Fleming was lured to the United States, along with numerous other English and Scottish players, by offers of substantially better wages than what was offered at home. His Hall of Fame career would run to 1929, and in his time with Bethlehem he would win the National Challenge Cup four times, the American Cup five times, as well as numerous other league championships.
1913/14 National Challenge Cup – Second Round
December 6, 1913
Braddock FC 2:3 (AET) Bethlehem FC Forbes Field – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Bethlehem: Tommy Fleming (PK) – 12th min. Braddock: Kelly – 61st min. Braddock: McCann – 71st min. Bethlehem: Tommy Fleming – 85th min. Bethlehem: Tommy Fleming – 103rd min.
Braddock: Marshall , Blackwood, Howe, Beagling, Kelly, Whyte, Anderson, Rattray, Stevenson, Lowther, McCan
Bethlehem: J. Love, George McKelvey, E. Peacock, R. Stewart, Robert “Bobby” Morrison, Mike Lawler, Johnny Galbraith, Edgar Lewis, Jack Lance, Ned Donaghy, Tommy Fleming
Referee: Isaac Wilson
West Philadelphia FC 4:1 Kensington FC Northwestern
44th St. & Parkside Ave. Ballpark – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
West Philly: Liggett (2), Anderson (2) Kensington – Dunkinfield
West Philadelphia: Irwin, Cannon, Campbell, McEwan, Fisher, Gillies, A. Doherty, Kendall, Liggett, Anderson, J. Doherty
Kensington: Warren, Trotter, Dalton, Wambech, Marnock, Cooper, Dunkinfield, Mellors, Ford, Burrows
Referee: E. Waldron Linesmen – McCracken, Blackney
Peabody FC 1:1 Wissinoming FC
Wissinoming: R. Hyslop – 25th min. Peabody: Marley – 2nd half
Peabody: W.R. Hanna, Lynch, Witson, Colston, H. Hanna, Leslie, Hemingway, Evans, Marley, Jacovelli, Meadows
Wissinoming: O’Brien, Coventry, T. Hyslop, Brown, Boyle, Gibbs, R. Hyslop, McBride, Skinnider, McGraw, Simpson
Referee: G. Young Linesmen – Broadley, Cannon
Pullman FC 3:0 Campbell Rovers FC
52nd Ave. & West Madison Grounds – Chicago, Illinois
Pullman: McNaughton, Mackie, Shallcross
Pullman: Sutton, Blockley, B. Govier, Dickson, Brown, Taylor, Pollitt, Mackie, Shalcross, Cartwright, McNaughto
Campbell: Linley, Stevenson, Paul, Williamson, Buchan, Thompson, Trueman, Main, Crosbie, Graham, Duncan
Referee: D. McKean | Linesmen: Leach, Cumnmings
Hyde Park Blues FC 2:0 MacDuff FC
16th Street & 48th Avenue Grounds – Chicago, Illinois
Hyde Park: Cole, Mair
Hyde Park: Birchall, Heale, Scott, Whiteside, Parker, D. McKay, Craig, J. Evans, Cole, Barlow, Mair
MacDuff: Fraser, J. Moir, McGregor, Paterson, McKay, Qualte, Platt, Brown, Monroe, Halsall, Peat
Referee: W. Napier (Note: Game protested by MacDuff FC over Hyde Park Blues using an ineligible player)
New Bedford FC 3:0 Presbyterian FC
New Bedford, Mass.
THE FIRST CUP SERIES (THECUP.US)
A detailed look back at the 1913/1914 National Challenge Cup
Sept. 12, 1913 / Oct. 11, 1913: How the 1913/14 National Challenge Cup began
Nov. 1, 1913: The inaugural National Challenge Cup gets under way
Nov. 2, 1913: Brooklyn Field Club begins their journey as Round 1 concludes
Nov. 29 1913: Farr Alpaca forfeit Round 1 replay with New Bedford FC
Dec. 6, 1913: Four teams move on to Round 3, two more to be decided by protest or replay
Dec. 14, 1913: Second Round nearly complete as USFA announces protest results, draw for Round 3
Dec. 21, 1913: Third time’s the charm for St. George FC as Round 2 comes to a close
Jan. 12, 1914: Rochester’s MacNaughton Rangers forfeit replay with Niagara Falls Rangers
Jan. 24, 1914: Differing opinions as New Bedford FC eliminates West Philadelphia FC to reach quarterfinals
Jan. 25, 1914: Brooklyn Field Club, Columbia Oval join the quarterfinals
Mar. 8, 1914: Pullman FC beats Hyde Park Blues in Chicago derby to complete quarterfinal field
Mar. 28, 1914: Brooklyn Field Club defeat ‘cup holders’ Yonkers FC to reach Challenge Cup Semifinals
Mar. 29, 1914: Brooklyn Celtic defense carries them past Columbia Oval, into Semifinals
Apr. 5, 1914: Niagara Falls Rangers topple Pullman FC to complete Semifinal field
Apr. 18, 1914: Brooklyn Field Club edge New Bedford FC to reach inaugural National Challenge Cup Final
Apr. 26, 1914: Brooklyn Celtic cruises past Niagara Falls Rangers to reach inaugural National Challenge Cup Final
Before the 1913/1914 Final: By boat or by train, Brooklyn Field Club, Brooklyn Celtic prepare for inaugural National Challenge Cup Final
May 16, 1914: Brooklyn Field Club wins inaugural National Challenge Cup on late winner over Brooklyn Celtic