Philadelphia Soccer History

Philly Soccer 100: Tacony v True Blues in American Cup final replay

Featured image: Team captains and match officials at American Cup final replay at Second and Allegheny on April 19, 1913.

2013 is the centennial of the US Soccer Federation. Our series looking back at the Philadelphia soccer scene one hundred years ago continues.

American Cup final replay

The local soccer scene had high hopes when it was announced that, for the first time, the American Cup final between Tacony FC and Patterson True Blues would be held in Philadelphia. The Philadelphia soccer scene was booming as evidenced by the all-Philadelphia semifinal between Tacony and Philadelphia Hibernians. Hibernians, soon to be crowned champions of the city’s professional Pennsylvania League, were the favorites even if the semifinal hadn’t been played on their home grounds. But, as the Inquirer match report pointed out on March 16, “cup games have the habit of upsetting the dopesters.” Tacony, who had won the American Cup in 1910, fought back from a 1–0 deficit to defeat Hibernians 2-1 and so advance to the final.

The semifinal, played on a sodden pitch after heavy rainfall that had stopped just hours before first kick, proved to be something of a harbinger of what conditions would be like for the final. Only when Tacony and the True Blues met on the same field on April 12, the rain, which had begun to fall the day before, didn’t stop and, if anything, the pitch was in even worse condition. Nevertheless, Tacony was leading 2-0 at the half. This time, it was the True Blues who fought back, scoring an equalizer three minutes before the final whistle.

Tacony v True Blues 2nd replaySome 3,300 spectators were on hand for the April 19 replay, again played at Hibernians’ home grounds at Second and Allegheny. Conditions were much improved from the week before, “the grounds in great shape on account of the Hibernian management having a steam roller on them, they played as true as a billiard table.” But, the Inquirer reported on April 20 that neither side was able to take advantage of the improved conditions, hampered as they were by new game ball that was “as lively as a cricket” and “a strong wind that blew across the field.”

After a scoreless first half, Tacony took the lead from a penalty kick. But as time wound down, the True Blues once again hammered at Tacony’s defense. Finally, in the last minute of play, Clark, who had been on the sidelines having a wound to his head attended to when Tacony converted their penalty kick to take the lead, equalized for the visitors to force another replay.

The Inquirer declared, “If anything, Tacony should have won the game, for they had at least four chances of adding to their account,” including another hand ball that was waived off by the referee. In the end, though, the Inquirer concluded, “Taking the run of the game in its entirety, there was little if anything to choose between the teams and a draw about gives a fair reflection of the play.”

The second replay would take place on April 27 at Morris Park in Newark, N.J., where Philadelphia Hibernian had lost the 1911 American Cup final.

Penn defeats Yale

Penn met Yale in Intercollegiate Soccer League play on April 19 at the Philadelphia Cricket Club and emerged the 2–1 winners. The Inquirer match report on April 20 described the contest as “hard fought…fast and exciting, although the home players had more of the game than Yale.”



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