American soccer writing, history & data.
Little changed internally for the 1917-18 St. Louis Soccer League season, but external factors had an impact on the organization. The United States' entry into the Great War put the country on a war footing and the draft meant many of the SLSL players left the league due to military service.
St. Leo's player-manager "Bull" Brannigan was drafted into the army so Harry McCarthy took over the team's managerial role. Brannigan and Tate Brady, manager of the Naval Reserves team, have both been entertaining sponsorship propositions from local industries to change the names of their clubs but stayed pat for the current season.
It was another close competition between the top two clubs, Ben Miller and St. Leo's. But, unlike the previous year, attendance was low due to bad weather and postponements. Three matches were postponed in December and early January. And only a handful of patrons attended the last two matches of January. This loss of income led to the SLSL's worst financial year not only because of the low attendance but also because rental at Cardinal Park (the renamed Robison Field) had to be paid whether or not games were played.
Ben Miller again retained their league title beating St. Leo's by one point. On March 31, 1918, Ben Miller faced Lennox, the Municipal League champions, for the city championship. In an upset, the Hatters lost to Lennox 2-1 before 10,000 at the Fairground.
©2021 by Daniel Creel. All rights reserved.