Scenes from the first game between Fore River and Paterson in the 1918/1919 National Challenge Cup Quarterfinals. Photo: Boston Globe
100 years ago, the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup (then known as the National Challenge Cup) crowned its sixth national champion. Prior to the 106th edition of the US Open Cup Final last August, TheCup.us began a five-part series that jumps in a time machine back a full century to see what obstacles the 1918/1919 tournament faced. The game and the world itself was very different a century ago. World War I was wrapping up in Europe and there was an outbreak of the Spanish Flu around the country. The United States and the game of soccer were likely unrecognizable to the modern fan, so we decided to take a look back to see how it all played out.
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.
Check out the other entries in this five-part series: Round 1 | Round 2 | Round 3 | Quarterfinals
1919 National Challenge Cup – Quarterfinals
Six inches of snow greeted Paterson FC’s players when they arrived in Quincy, Mass. on Feb. 22 for their Quarterfinal encounter with Fore River FC. The home club managed to clear the field with plows pulled by automobiles, and while the field was cleared of snow, a muddy mess was left behind.
Despite the poor field conditions, each team had numerous scoring chances. Rudy Hunziker had an excellent chance to put Paterson ahead in the first half, making a solo run from midfield, only to have his shot saved by Lambie. By halftime neither team had found the net and the two teams were so caked in mud they were nearly indistinguishable.
The second half brought more end-to-end action. At one point, a scrimmage formed in front of the Fore River goal but Fore River defender Littlejohn managed to hold the ball between his knees before being cleared by teammate Lowe. Jack Kershaw had an excellent chance to add to his seven tournament goals when he stepped up to take a penalty kick after being held in the penalty area, but butchered the opportunity, sending his shot well over the crossbar. This turned out to be the last good chance for the hosts to score, and they were able to hold Patterson out of the goal as well for the remainder of the 90 minutes. Through extra time both teams continued to attack, but the mud had taken its toll on the tiring players, leaving the game finished in a scoreless draw.
The replay was set for the very next week in Paterson at Olympic Park. About 100 Fore River supporters followed the team from Quincy, Mass., unfurling a six-foot banner that read “Play up Fore River”. Some of the Paterson fans offered the visiting rooters 8-to-5 and then 2-to-1 betting odds but found few interested takers. The teams picked up where they left off the week before, immediately threatening the opposing goal. Ten minutes into the game, Fore River defender Stewart miscalculated his jump when heading the ball and landed awkwardly, breaking his ankle. With no substitutions allowed, the visitors were forced to finish the game with 10 men. Paterson struck first later in the half when a shot from Hunziker was saved by Lambie. Tommy Stark rushed in when Lambie dropped the ball, putting Paterson ahead 1-0.
Fore River pulled even in the second half on a sequence that would easily make today’s highlights. Stradan made a long run with the ball, easily avoiding Paterson halfbacks, before sending a cross into the goal mouth. Jack Kershaw dashed in for a header that Paterson goalkeeper Healy had no chance to save.
Afterwards Paterson began to pressure the Fore River goal to regain the lead. After a few missed attempts on goal, Davy Brown headed in a cross from Hunziker to put Paterson back on top. Brown knocked himself out when he hit the ground and had to leave the game for a few minutes. Fore River desperately tried to find an equalizer, but Paterson held them off to advance to the Semifinals.
A team photo of the Bethlehem Steel in 1919 ahead of their tour of Sweden. Photo: Spaulding Guide
At Bethlehem Steel Athletic Field on March 1, the hometown Bethlehem Steel made easy work of Akron’s Goodyear FC with a 5-0 win. The hosts managed only one goal in the opening half with Bob Millar scoring from 18 yards out after a pass from Butler. Bethlehem defender San Fletcher was forced to leave the game with a knee injury with 15 minutes left in the first, but the handicap did not phase the Steelmen.
In the second half, Millar scored goal number two after Goodyear goalkeeper Jones failed to properly clear a shot from George McKelvey. Bethlehem continued to batter the Goodyear goal with shots, and goalkeeper Jones played spectacularly to keep the score from getting out of hand.
McKelvey scored Bethlehem’s third goal from six yards out on a cross from Tommy Fleming. Near the end of the game, Millar secured a hat trick on a low drive. The final goal for the winners came off a corner kick from Fleming, which James Campbell headed past Jones.
The next day at the Lenox Oval in Manhattan, Morse Dry Dock got the better of New York FC, 2-0, as both goals came within five minutes of one another in the first half. Fred Beardsworth scored the first after 25 minutes on a pass from Holgate, and five minutes later, Holgate provided the assist once again, this time to McGreevey.
A team photo of Roses FC (Detroit) from 1919
The last of the Quarterfinal games kicked off on March 9 between Chicago’s Bricklayers and Masons and Detroit’s Roses FC at Bricklayers Field in Chicago. The field was covered in several inches of snow. The field conditions slowed the lighter and faster Roses players, and the Bricklayers played aggressively, jumping out to a 2-1 halftime lead which led to a 5-2 victory. Herron notched a hat trick and Heath added two more goals for the home side, while Allison and McLize tallied for Roses.
1918/1919 National Challenge Cup – Quarterfinal Results
February 21, 1919
Fore River FC 0:0 (AET) Paterson FC
Fore River Field – Quincy, MA
Fore River: Lambie, Clawson, Tommy Littlejohn, Lowe, Stewart, Black, Reid, Page, Kershaw, Daly, Stradan
Paterson: Denby, Post, Murray, Meyerdierks, Vandeweghe, Broadbent, Knowles, Hunziler, Clarke, A. Stark, D. Brown
Referee: George Lambie | Linesmen: Bleich, Bradford
March 2, 1919
(REPLAY) Paterson FC 2:1 Fore River FC
Olympic Field – Paterson, New Jersey
Patterson: Tommy Stark – 1st Half
Patterson: Davey Brown (Archie Stark) – 2nd Half
Fore River: Jack Kershaw (Straden) – 2nd Half
Paterson: G. Healy, Post, Murray, Broadbent, A. Vandeweghe, Meyerdierks, Knowles, Hunziker, Tommy Stark. Archie Stark, Brown
Fore River: G. Lambie, Clawson, Littlejohn, Lowe, Stewart*, Black, Reid, Page, Kershaw, Daly, Straden
*Stewart left game after five minutes due to a broken ankle
Referee: George Lambie | Linesmen: S. Denby, D. Meldrum
March 1, 1919
Bethlehem Steel 5-0 Goodyear F.C.
Bethlehem Steel Athletic Field – Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Bethlehem: Bob Millar (Butler) – 1st Half
Bethlehem: Bob Millar (Unassisted) – 2nd Half
Bethlehem: George McKelvey (Tommy Fleming) – 2nd Half
Bethlehem: Bob Millar (Campbell) – 2nd Half
Bethlehem: James Campbell (Tommy Fleming) – 2nd Half
Goodyear: Jones, Tilley, Pointon, McCulley, Simmons, Campbell, McDonald, Valentine, Ainscaugh, Marshall, Simpson
Bethlehem: William Duncan, Wilson, Jock Ferguson, Fletcher*, Campbell, Fred Pepper, Butler, George McKelvey, George Forrest, Bob Millar, Tommy Fleming
*Fletcher left game at 30th minute due to injury, Bethlehem played with 10 men the rest of the game
Referee: George Caldicott
March 2, 1919
New York FC 0:2 Morse Dry Dock
Lenox Oval – Harlem, NY
Morse Dry Dock: Fred Beardsworth (Holgate) – 25th min.
Morse Dry Dock: McGreevey (Holgate) – 30th min.
New York: Ferro, Ferguson, Kelly, Morrison, McWilliams, Vandeweghe, O’Halloran, Callahan, Quinn, Koelsch, Petrie
Morse: Albin, Booth, Burns, Mackie, Bustard, McCann, Holgate, Beardsworth, McGreevey, Cartwright, Cullerton
Referee: C. Ward | Linesmen: C. Meyers, W. Hollywood
March 9, 1919
Bricklayers & Masons FC 5:2 Roses FC
Bricklayers Field – Chicago, IL
*goal times unknown
Bricklayers: Holmes, Sneddor, Stewart, Blockey, Bromley, Shaw, Dixon, Heath, Herron, Hawke, Vidano
Roses: Goodwin, McMillan, F. Higgins, Moore, H. Higgins, Marshall, Preston, McLize, Fishbach, Allison, Dyson
Referee: J. Johnston | Linesmen: Cummings, Stark