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.
As a result of an emergency meeting held by the United States Football Association on Jan. 5, it was announced that the Niagara Falls Rangers were granted a replay of their 1-0 loss to the MacNaughton Rangers in the second round. The USFA also decided the replay was to take place in Niagara Falls on Jan. 18. The Niagara Falls management would eventually select Aluminum Park as the venue for the replay.
The Niagara Falls Rangers protested their Nov. 30 loss on the grounds that MacNaughton’s Bliss had signed an amateur form with the club and was holding a position as a paid high school coach, which technically made him a professional. The USFA initially denied the protest on Dec. 14 based on a lack of evidence, but after a more in-depth investigation, they reversed their decision.
Niagara Falls manager Glasgow seemed split on confidence and reality as he told the Niagara Falls Gazette: “I think we can beat them on this game with a little horseshoe luck. The Macs are a mighty good team though.”
In a statement to the sport’s growing popularity in Northwestern New York, Captain Fred Milnes commented on the replay decision as well.
“I am glad that the game is to take place in January,” Milnes said. “The number of spectators will show how firm a hold the game has obtained in this city and I think there will be a good crowd present.”
In addition to the question of Bliss’ eligibility to play, the MacNaughtons were also brought to task over how the game itself was conducted. All cup games were to have an admission price of 25 cents. The Macs had been charging 15 cents for their games all season, and protested the additional 10 cent hike in admission due to the fact that their field was not properly enclosed. The USFA refused to move on the matter, and many of the Rochester fans threatened to walk into the game without paying at all.
As a result of the admission fee row, the MacNaughtons failed to provide an official at the gate until almost kickoff, and also failed to repair breaches in the hedges that ran down one side of the field, which allowed hundreds of spectators to enter the game without playing any admission at all. Niagara Falls received only $28 ($619 adjusted for inflation) for their cut of the gate, despite newspaper reports that there were 3,000-5,500 in attendance. As a result MacNaughton were fined $15 ($331 today) for the game admission fiasco.
The winner of the Jan. 18 replay would have to travel to Detroit in early February to face Roses FC in the third round.
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