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Monday, 31 August 2015

World Cup 1930 - Uruguay v Romania (Gazeta Sporturilor Newspaper)

 Pedro Cea scores Uruguay's second in their 4-0 victory over Romania, Gazeta Sporturilor, 30 August 1930

The United States' 1930 Post-World Cup friendly against Brazil - Part One

This is the first of a series of articles that will chronicle the Rio de Janeiro press coverage of the friendly international between Brazil and the United States that was played on the 17 August 1930. Although not directly related to the 1930 World Cup, I hope that it will enrich your knowledge of the two nations that played in Montevideo, Uruguay. It will deal with articles that previewed the game as well as match reports and photographs of those involved and the action on the field.

After the United States lost 6-1 to Argentina in the World Cup semi-final they played a series of friendlies before they returned to the US. Before they set sail for Brazil, they played twice in Montevideo, losing both to Nacional (2-1) and Penarol (4-1). Before they played the Brazilian national team, they had arrived in Santos and drew with Santos F.C. 3-3 on August 9th and then the next day in Sao Paulo they lost 5-3 to Sao Paulo F.C. The Americans were scheduled to play Botafogo F.C. on August 19th.

After their shock World Cup elimination to Yugoslavia, the Brazilians had organized three friendlies that included the US. On August 1st, they had defeated France 3-2, and then got some measure of revenge against Yugoslavia, 4-1, on August 10th.

The article above is from Diario da Noite, 15 August 1930. It informs it readers that the Americans, scheduled to play at Fluminense Stadium, on Sunday, were a team that plays football ''very unlike our own'', characterized by long wide passes. They play safe and even, they are a ''machine without alternatives''. When facing stronger opponents they may not be able to keep to the same rhythmic style in their play. They ''[a]re physically fit individuals'' who ''fight without discouragement and sustain the struggle throughout the fray.''

The article also notes their strong performances at the World Cup. Their victories over Belgium and Paraguay, both by 3-0, were well deserved according to local journalists, but they eventually ''succumbed to the powerful Argentine squad''.

The referee for the match will be Sr. Carlos Martins da Rocha, ''specially invited by Botafogo F.C.''. He was considered to be ''one of the best referees in Rio''.

The organizers of the match had discussed how to encourage those in the American colony in Rio, who were interested in attending the match, to buy their tickets in advance in order to get the best seats.

The article also list the provisional squad for the match selected by the Brazilian sports federation, the CBD:

Joel de Oliveira, Luiz Gervazoni, Jose Luis de Oliveira, Newton Barbosa, Alfredo de Almeida Rego, Carlos de Carvalho Leite, Joao Coelho NettoTheophilo Bethencourt Perreira, Oswaldo de Barros Velloso, Antonio Ariza FilhoBenedicto Menezes, Nilo Murtinho Braga, Angenor Machado e Octacilo Pinheiro Guerra; Martin Mercio Silveira, Humberto de Araujo.

(It should be noted that the spelling of names differ from newspaper to newspaper)

The Americans pose for the Diario da Noite photographer in the lobby of their hotel in Sao Paulo. It is hard to determine the identity of many of the players in the grainy image. Bert Patenaude is on the right of the picture (sitting). Andy Auld is the first one on the left (sitting) and Bart McGhee is third from right (standing). Bob Millar is third from left (standing).

This photo shows Elmer Schroeder (left, sitting) and W. R. Cummings (middle, sitting), composing a greeting note to be published by Diario da Noite (displayed below).

Both images above were published in Diario da Noite, 16 August 1930
This is a transcript of the greeting note above, however, I was unable to decipher all but two words which are indicated by brackets, and if anyone knows what they read please leave a comment below.
UPDATE: Thanks to James Brown, grandson of US 1930 World Cup player, Jim Brown, for helping to decipher the text below.

To ''Diario da Noite'' of Rio,

The football delegation of North America look forward with great pleasure to [their] [visit] in Rio de Janeiro. We hope our games here will strengthen the bonds of friendship which already exist between Brazil and the United States of North America. We take this opportunity to thank the people of Brazil for the great kindness and many courtesies which have already been extended to us since we have been in this great South American Republic. We know we will be able to leave behind us as good an impression of South America as we carry away with us of the people of Brazil.

W. R. Cummings and Elmer Schroeder (signatures)


Sunday, 30 August 2015

1930 World Cup News Communication Network

Below is a diagram published in Rio newspaper, Diario da Noite, explaining to its readers how it will be receiving news from Montevideo of the World Cup.

The match report would be transmitted by telephone to the station of the Italcable company in Montevideo. It would transmit the report by its wire cable apparatus that fed into the ocean at a depth 4,000 of  meters that traveled up the Brazilian coastline to the Italcable station's receivers in Rio. That report would then be telephoned to the newspaper offices of Diario da Noite.

Diagram published in Diario da Noite, 14 July 1930

The S.S. Munargo That Took The US and Mexico To The 1930 World Cup

On the evening of June 13 1930, the American and Mexican delegations boarded the S.S. Munargo, commanded by W.W. Clark and set sail from Hoboken, New Jersey for Montevideo, Uruguay for the first World Cup. It was an 18-day trip with stops in Bermuda and Brazil.

On their arrival in Montevideo, American coach, Bob Millar, told Uruguay's El Diario that training on board had been difficult, ''a steamer not only too small and without an open deck for exercising, but also with very poor bathrooms.'' However, they coped enough for the US players to credit their trainer Jock Coll with keeping them fit on board.

Below are some pictures of the S.S. Munrgo taken in the 1930s.

Where the Legend Began, Rony J Almeida, 2006

1930 World Cup Final - A Tale of Two Footballs

Those familiar with the 1930 World Cup may have read in various publications or articles, how just before the final was to kick off there was disagreement among the two teams, Argentina and Uruguay, over the choice of match ball.

In Brian Glanville's The Story of the World Cup (1993), he writes: ''Each team insisted on a ball of native manufacture; a point which hadn't been covered in the regulations...''. Cris Freddi in Complete Book of the World Cup (2002) also raises the issue and noting that the referee, John Langenus, ''ordered each half to be played with a different ball.'' These are just two references of many that relate to this story. Langenus would toss a coin to determine which ball would be used first, ''To a fusillade of firecrackers, he did. Argentina won'', described Glanville.

It is worth noting in reviewing a quick sample of contemporary match reports, none of the them mention the disagreement, for instance Argentina's La Nacion (31 July 1930) and El Grafico (9 August 1930) were more concerned about the death threats aimed at Luis Monti. But was this because it appears that the Argentinians were being petty about the choice of ball, and the Argentinian press were conveniently ignoring it?

It should be noted that this was an era before FIFA had exclusive contracts with certain ball manufactures to provide balls for the World Cup, and Glanville is right when he points out that this was not covered in the regulations. It was down to the hosts, more specifically the organizing committee, to provide the balls for the whole competition.

When I first read about this story in the dramatic build up to the final, it seemed that the Argentinians were causing trouble with their bitter rivals, an intent to unnerve the Uruguayans moments before the match. And the decision of Langenus to use both balls for different halves was some kind of fair solomonic compromise.

But information provided by Rony J Almeida in his book Where the Legend Began (2006), in my opinion, makes the Uruguayans to be the ones being petty and difficult. According to Almeida, on July 9th 1930, the Organizing Committee had made the choice to use Argentinian made footballs as the official World Cup match ball. Apparently, it was a political decision by the Uruguayan FA, '' spite of Uruguayan government interests'', wrote Almeida.

There were high level request made to the organizing committee, such as from the Secretary of Public Education, in charge of the Director of Sports, to use locally made footballs. However, the Organizing Committee believed that the ''high level'' requests were too closely linked to business interests i.e that they had a close relationship with the ball manufactures, and the committee took the ethical decision to go with the Argentine manufacturers.

So, it was the Uruguayans who wanted to ignore the decisions of the organizing committee and it begs the question why the field administrators, competition organizers and the referee Langenus didn't stick to the rules? Was there some kind of bias going on here as the stakes were raised for the title of World Champion? And did it really matter? Probably not. Some of the Argentinians did not play so well in the final, intimidated by the tense atmosphere during the build up to the match, and the Uruguayans adopted a tough physical game to win the final 4-2 and become first ever World Champions.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

1930 World Cup Player Sketches

Mexico's Rafael Garza Gutierrez, El Mercurio, 17 July 1930

United States' James Douglas, El Mercurio, 17 July 1930

Yugoslavia's Dragan Mihailovic, El Mercurio, 17 July 1930

Chile's Guillermo Arellano, El Mercurio, 23 July 1930

1930 World Cup Greeting Note

A greeting note written by Mexican delegation chief, Sota Garcia, to the readers of  Chile's El Mercurio (El Mercurio, 17 July 1930)

1930 World Cup Player Hilario Lopez (Mexico)

Mexico's Hilario Lopez

1930 World Cup Goal Diagrams (2)

Lucien Laurent scores the first World Cup goal (France 4, Mexico 1, 13 July 1930)

1930 World Cup Newspapers

Peru's El Comercio, 14 July 1930 (France v Mexico/USA v Belgium)

Argentina's La Prensa, 27 July 1930 (Argentina v USA)

Argentina's La Prensa, 27 July 1930

Mexico's El Universal, 20 July 1930 (Chile v Mexico)

World Cup 1930 Caricatures - Hermogenes (Brazil)

Brazil's Hermogenes, Critica, 17 July 1930

World Cup 1930 Comic Strip Argentina 1, France 0

Luis Monti scores from free-kick in Argentina's 1-0 victory over France

Friday, 28 August 2015

World Cup 1930 Telegram Yugoslavia 2 Brazil 1

Telegram to the offices of  Belgrade newspaper Vreme announcing Yugoslavia's 2-1 victory over Brazil (Vreme, 16 July 1930)

George Moorhouse 1930 World Cup

A young George Moorhouse

Biography below:

Peru's 1930 World Cup Squad and FIFA's Records.

According to FIFA's archives, the Peru team that traveled to Montevideo in 1930 contained a squad of 23 players, however, we should note with caution that FIFA's records of the first World Cup have been strewn with errors and have changed over the years. For instance at one time the FIFA records showed that Romania had five extra players in its squad (Petre Steinbach, Rudolf Steiner, Elmer Kocsis, Alexandru Borbely and Andrei Glanzman) and the US team had two extra players on the original list- Bill O'Brian and a M. Slavin, otherwise known as William 'Shamus' O'Brien and John Slavin.

The reasons for the extra players maybe down to provisional list that were sent to FIFA in advance of the tournament before final lists were submitted after all the teams arrived.

As far as I can tell, three of the players listed on FIFA's records in Peru's squad, did not travel to Montevideo: Juan Alfonso Valle, Jorge Sarmiento and Jorge Gongora.

Peru coach, Paco Bru, picked an 18-man team for a World Cup warm-up against Paraguayan team, Olimpia, on June 19th 1930.  The list was published by Peru's El Comercio on June 18th and included Sarmiento and Gongora but no Alfonso Valle. Arturo Fernandez and Luis Souza Ferreyra would be added to the squad before departure.

The list below is from A History of the World Cup, vol 1. The Jules Rimet Years (1998); 

Juan Valdivieso (Alianza),
Jorge Pardon (Atletico Chalacao),
Alberto Soria (Alianza),
Julio Quintana (Alianza),
Arturo Fernandez (Universitario)
Domingo Garcia (Alianza)
Alberto Denegri (Alianza)
Eduardo Astengo (Universitario)
Placido Galindo (Universitario)
Pablo Pacheco (Universitario)
Carlos Cilloniz (Universitario)
Luis Souza Ferreira (Universitario)
Mario De las Casas (Universitario)
Julio Lores (Necaxa, Mexico - registered to the Peruvian FA for the tournament)
Antonio Maquilon (Atletico Chalacao)
Jose Maria Lavalle (Alianza)
Alejandro Villanueva (Alianza)
Demetrio Neyra (Alianza)
Lizardo Nue Rodriguez.(Alianza)

As of yet I have been unable to obtain any other contemporary source that includes Juan Alfonso Valle, Jorge Sarmiento and Jorge Gongora.

The 18 man team in El Comercio, 18 June 1930, can found in the article below.

FIFA's match report Argentina v USA in 2003 show two extra US players

FIFA match report Uruguay v Romania in 2003 shows five extra Romanian players

Goal diagrams World Cup 1930

Luis Souza Ferreyra scores in Peru's 3-1 defeat to Romania, 14 July 1930

US v Paraguay, 17 July 1930

Santos Iriarte scores Uruguay's third in the World Cup final

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

From Footballers to Arbitrators at the World Cup 1930

World Cup 1930 - Copa del Mundo 1930

Out of the fifteen match officials that arbitrated during the 1930 World Cup, at least four are known to have played football at a senior level.

Martin ''Chico'' Aphesteguy (b. 22 October 1888 d. 30 November 1975) who ran the line in the Chile-Mexico and USA - Paraguay matches was a former Uruguayan international who had made 17 appearances for his country between 1906 - 1915. He was a versatile defender who had a preference for playing on the left and had formed a defensive partnership with the legendary Jose Benincasa at Montevideo FC. After retiring from playing he would take up refereeing and had experience at officiating at the South American Championship.

Ricardo Vallarino refereed the Paraguay versus Belgium match and was the linesman in the Yugoslavia - Brazil tie. He had played at inside-left for Club Nacional and made his debut for Uruguay against Argentina in August 1913 with Aphesteguy playing at half-back and would make a total of five appearances for his country. He is recorded as refereeing Uruguay versus Argentina on the 29th October 1916, indeed he would officiate many matches involving his own country and proved to show no bias. On the 3rd October 1924, he took charge of Argentina v Uruguay in Buenos Aires and the Uruguayan team abandoned the match in the 86th minute losing 2-1 after feeling cheated by their own countryman.

Ulises Saucedo was the Bolivian coach during the 1930 World Cup and also refereed the Argentina versus Mexico match. It was a game in which he awarded three penalties and had to pace fourteen steps from the goal-line to place the ball to be taken because the penalty spot had been unmarked. He was the linesman in five other matches (Argentina - France, Argentina - Chile, Uruguay - Romania, Uruguay - Yugoslavia,Uruguay - Argentina). According to an interview given to Chile's El Mercurio (17 July 1930), the head of the Bolivian delegation, told the journalist that Saucedo was hired as the coach because he had played professionally in England and just before he had returned to his homeland had a coaching role at Arsenal.

Costel Radulescu,the Romania coach, also arbitrated during the World Cup running the line in two matches (Argentina v France, Argentina v Mexico), and was known to have played for SC Olympia Bucarest.

International Federation of Football History & Statistics; Full internationals - Argentina (1902 - 1940) - Uruguay (1902 - 1940)

The Extraordinary Life of a 1930 US World Cup Squad player.

This is an article about a player who didn't play one minute of the United States' World Cup campaign, but the life of James Cuthbert Gentle was extraordinary and fascinating enough for me to mention him in this blog.

There is some discrepancy over his date of birth. His biography found on the website of Pennsylvania University (see link below) states that he was born in Boston, Massachussetts, on July 21st, 1904, as does his wikipedia page. However, his grave stone is engraved with the birth date of July 17th 1904.

On May 22, 1986, James Gentle passed away and a obituary appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer (23 May 1986):


James C. Gentle, 81, an insurance broker and Olympic athlete who led troops through some of the most bloody battles of World War II, died yesterday at the Clara Burke Nursing Home, formerly of Elkins Park and Flourtown, he lived in Chestnut Hill.

A native of Brookline, Mass., Mr. Gentle came to Philadelphia to attend the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He quickly built a reputation there in two of Penn's roughest sports, soccer and field hockey.

He was twice named to the All-American soccer team. His brother, Dick Gentle, added another touch to the family name, serving as captain of Penn's football team.

James Gentle remained active in his sports. He played on the U.S. team that took third place in the World's Open Soccer Tournament in Uruguay in 1930. He was a member of the U.S. Field Hockey Team at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1932.

He competed on both the U.S. Field Hockey and Soccer teams of the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.

He maintained his interest in Penn's athletic teams in later years, serving as president of the Varsity Club and working with the university's Advisory Board on Athletics.

When World War II broke out, he left his insurance business and joined the Army. Maj. Gentle was assigned to the 36th Infantry, the Texas Division. He led his unit into the fighting at Salerno and the mountains behind Monte Casino and across the Rapido River, some of the most hard-won territory taken in the war in Italy.

The Texas Division was pulled out of Italy and invaded southern France, joining Gen. Patton's forces as they blasted their way across the country and into the Rhineland and the heart of Germany.

On the way, the 36th Division liberated Digne, a town of 14,661 people in the Alps-de-Haute province of France . Maj. Gentle's men captured 500 German soldiers. The townspeople were delighted by the German surrender and their liberation and in 1984 brought then-Col. Gentle to Digne as the town's guest of honor to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the return of freedom.

Once the Texas Division found its way into Berlin, Maj. Gentle was named U.S. trade and industry officer for the American zone. In that post, he became the center of one of the first disputes with the Russians.

The distilleries of Berlin -five in all- were in the American zone of the divided city. But the alcohol-producung plants were in the Russian zone. To produce anything potable, cooperation was necessary.

An agreement was reached that the Russians would supply the alcohol and the Americans would see that it was properly blended and bottled. Under terms of the government, the American military would get 15 percent of the output and the remainder would go to the Russians for their distribution.

But the Russians kept it all. So Maj. Gentle taking a tough stand, shut down the plants. Finally, after nearly a month with nothing but pure alcohol to drink, the Russians caved in. They agreed to carry out the agreement, and liquor flowed through Check Point Charlie.

It was a story that Mr. Gentle could tell with a chuckle in later years. And when challenged by a doubter, he had the yellowed newspaper clippings to back up his story.

He returned to his insurance business and became a specialist in pension and employee benefit insurance. He also returned to his golf game, becoming a member of the International Team of the American Senior Golf Association.

He was a member of the Pine Valley and Sunneybrook Golf Clubs, a member of the Fourth Street Club, the Racquet Club, the Gulf Stream and Seminole Clubs of Florida where he maintained a winter residence.

His wife, Eleanor Widener Dixon Gentle, died in 1967.

He is survived by a sister, Consuela Barber.

A memorial service will be held at 4 p. m. Tuesday at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Whitemarsh."

As stated at the top, Gentle didn't play in any of the United States three World Cup games, and out of the 215 players that tried out for the US squad it appears that he was selected more for his Spanish language skills, acting as the teams interpreter. He played for Philadelphia Field Club at the time of the trip to Montevideo and as was the only amateur in the team.

His biography on the website of Pennsylvania University states that he won bronze in Field Hockey at the 1932 Summer Olympics. But he didn't so much win it as there were only three nations that entered the competition and the US team lost both matches heavily (9-2 to Japan and 24-1 to India).

He was also a member of the Field Hockey team at the 1936 Summer Olympics and according to the obituary above, he was also a part of the US soccer team in Berlin. But there is no record of him playing in the Americans 1-0 defeat to Italy (3 August 1936), nor in the squad listings.

Not mentioned in the biographies listed regarding his war record is the possibility that he took part in the Berlin Conference (or more commonly known as the Potsdam conference) from 17 July to 2 August 1945, where the Allied Powers gathered to administer punishment to Nazi Germany. A Major James C. Gentle, Economic Officer, Civil Affairs Division, United States Forces, European Theater, was listed as being present at either Berlin or Babelsberg during the Berlin conference. This would have preceded his being named U.S. trade and industry officer for the American zone.


Pennsylvania University biography

His obituary in the Philadelphia Enquirer.

Biography at the Hall of Fame

International Federation of Football History & Statistics; Olympic Football Tournament 1908, 1912, 1920, 1924, 1928, 1936, part 2.

A Major James C. Gentle is listed alphabetically of those present during the Berlin Conference

If anyone is interested in all things to do with US soccer history you may want to check out the two biographies of James Gentle's Field Hockey team-mates Wilson Thomas Hobson and William Boddington below.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

The 1930 World Cup and the Uruguayan Communists

Not all Uruguayans were enthusiastic about their country staging the first World Cup, in fact the Partido Comunista de Uruguaya (PCU) actively campaigned against it. They even organized conferences titled, “¡ Contra el campeonato mundial ¡ Contra la reacción¡'', and took aim at the ''fascists'' governments that were sending them their sporting ambassadors. 

They were especially critical of the ''representatives of Yugoslavia''. The country was living under the dictatorship imposed by King Alexander I on 6th January 1929, denounced by the PCU ''where reigns a bloody terror against the workers.''

The PCU, founded in 1921, had been critical of Uruguay's two Olympic victories. It believed that the bourgeoise had used the ''patriotic poison'' to further their interests, and now they were denouncing the Organizing Committee, which was being financed by the state, for spending thousands of pesos to entertain the foreign sport delegations on their arrival.

Despite being opposed to the World Cup, it still published the results in its paper, Justicia, albeit in its owns inimitable style. Below are a few examples (I wont bother with a translation because its pretty self explanatory).

“Imperalistas yanquis 3, imperialistas belgas 0”
“Imperialistas franceses 4, fascistas mejicanos 1”
“Representantes del gobierno reaccionario de Irigoyen (Argentina) 3, representantes del sargento Ibáñez (Chile) 1”
“Representantes de la burguesía uruguaya vendida al imperialismo 6, fascistas yugoslavos 1”.

Luis Prats, Goles y Votos (2013)

Monday, 24 August 2015

Citizenship and the U.S. team at the 1930 World Cup

Those familiar with the history of the 1930 World Cup will no doubt be aware that the United States' sixteen man squad contained six players born in Britain, more specifically five in Scotland and one in England.

In the article 'The myth of British pros on the 1930 U.S. team' (link below), authors Roger Allaway and Colin Jose, reviewing the claims of six books published between 1973 and 1994, that the six had played professionally in Britain before arriving in the US, set out to largely dispel the myth. The detailed background of the players revealed that four of them arrived in the United States as boys, and another roughly at the age of twenty/twenty-one. George Moorhouse, born May 4th 1901 in Liverpool, arrived in the United States in the summer of 1923 and was the only one that had any professional experience, having played twice for Tranmere Rovers in the English Third Division.

In his book, 'Chasing the Game: America and the Quest for the World Cup' (2010), Filip Bondy, makes the claim that Alexander Wood (b. 12 June 1907), who arrived in the US in 1921 at the age of 14, was the only naturalized American, with the inference that the other five were still citizens of their mother country.

It is worth pointing out that both Bart MacGhee and Jimmy Gallagher, both arrived in America before Wood. McGhee (b. 30 April 1899) emigrated to the US in 1912, while Gallagher (b.7 June 1901) arrived at the age of 12, settling in the New York area. All three were schooled in the American education system.

The next to arrive was Andy Auld (b. 26 January 1900) in 1922, then George Moorhouse (1923) and lastly James Brown (b. 31 December 1908) in 1927.

This raises some interesting questions.What were the rules at the 1930 World Cup regarding the selection of players born in another country? And what did those at the time, be it opponents, administrators and reporters make of the 'foreigners' in the U.S. team?

In an interview with James Brown, published in World Soccer magazine (July 1994), journalist Colin Jose wrote: ''During this tournament the composition of the American team was the subject of controversy and, according to Brown, Belgium protested to FIFA that the US were a foreign team and not made up of Americans...''

So what were the FIFA regulations at the time? Article 5 of the Rules and Regulations of the 1930 World Cup stated;

''All players participating in the World Cup must be natural citizens of the country they represent, in accordance with the corresponding provisions in force regarding such matters applicable by national associations.

Should a player be duly qualified to represent more than one country, he shall be able to choose which one he will represent during the World Cup. However, once the player has made such decision, he shall only be able to play for the selected country in future World Cups.''(Quoted from the official report, Primer Campeonato Mundial, p16)

The Americans arrived in Montevideo on 1st July 1930 and were delegated the services of two chaperones by the World Cup organizing committee. According to Rony J Almeida, in his book, Where the Legend Began (2006), one of them, Ignacio Reyes Molne had to call a press conference on the 7th July. There had been accusations about the legality of the American player's citizenship. He explained to an inquisitive press that five of the six British born footballers were US citizens and were qualified to play. The sixth player had expected to be granted citizenship on the 1st of July but held a document indicating that he was temporarily qualified to play.

So it seems that only one player's legality was dubious. It is believed that James Brown was that footballer. Born in Scotland into a family of four other boys and three girls, Brown sailed to the United States at the age of 19 to seek his father who had abandoned the family. Although he found his father they were unable to reconcile their differences, but the young Scot decided to stay in America. Three months after signing his first professional contract with the New York Giants he was offered the chance to play for the United States in the World Cup, using his father's US citizenship to legitimize his claim.

Another player born in Scotland, William 'Shamus' O'Brian, was also selected for the US team but had to withdraw when it was discovered that he was not an American citizen. So the USFA didn't have a free-for-all open selection process.

What is also curious about the press conference held by Reyes Molne, was that he had to dismiss claims that the US team contained players from Austria, Germany and Hungary. Whoever was making the accusations, whether it be the Belgium delegation or the South American press, the reasons may have been twofold:

Firstly, in June 1927, the United States Football Association (USFA) was facing potential suspension from FIFA (later averted) over complaints from Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia that American Soccer League (ASL) clubs were  poaching their players and breaking their contracts. Vienna Hakoah who had toured the United States in 1926 found that some its players had decided to accept lucrative contracts from some of the New York clubs.

Secondly, some of those players that stayed in America, would create two new clubs, New York Hakoah and Brooklyn Hakoah. The two would eventually merge to form Hakoah All-Stars, and they toured South America through June and August 1930 visiting Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. Among the seventeen man squad contained six who had been born in Hungary, five Austrians and one born in Germany.

It is possible that the South American press, having reported on the arrival of the Hakoah All-Stars before the Americans arrived in Montevideo may have assumed that the US team was similarly composed.

Despite the press conference on the 7th July, dismissing the claims, one Brazilian newspaper, Diario de Noticias (23 July 1930) some two weeks later would repeat similar claims, this time that the team was comprised of Hungarians and Austrian as well as a player from Portugal. Clearly, referring to Billy Gonsalves, who was in born in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, to Portuguese parents this seemingly was not the first time a Brazilian newspaper had made this claim. On their way to Montevideo, the Americans had a stopover in Rio de Janiero on the 27 June 1930, and Gonsalves was interviewed by Critica (28 June 1930). It informed its readers that:

''Gonçalves, que e português, vive na America desde os tempos da mamadeira.''

If I have interpreted it correctly, Critica is suggesting that Gonsalves was born in Portugal but had been living in the United States since he was being bottle/breast fed. But maybe something was lost in translation because the article also noted that he had trouble speaking in his mother's tongue.

So what is clear that the US team contained only six foreign born players, and they had a combined residency of sixty-four years in the United States. Like Gonsalves, other members of the team were first generation Americans. For example, Tom Florie was born to Italian immigrant parents, while Bert Patenaude's mother and father were French Canadian.

Below is a link to a study by Zach Bigalke, titled 'Anything But Ringers: Historical Sketches of the Soccer Hotbeds that produced the 1930 U.S. World Cup Team'. He writes of the six ex-pat Brits;

''...their path to the Unites States illustrate the greater pattern of immigration and industrialization that reshaped the country in the first three decades of the 20th century and played an integral role in the development of the 1930 U.S World Cup roster.
...the foreign-born players in the U.S. squad were representatives of the American demographic in this period, both nationally and within the communities that they developed into soccer stars...''

Anything But Ringers: Historical Sketches of the Soccer Hotbeds that produced the 1930 U.S. World Cup Team

'The myth of British pros on the 1930 U.S. team'

Sunday, 23 August 2015

American Press coverage of the 1930 World Cup.

World Cup 1930 - Copa del Mundo 1930

(This is not a comprehensive review of the American press coverage of the 1930 World Cup, but rather a snapshot of the information that I have found thus far.)

The paper of record, The New York Times, appears to be the only American newspaper to give any real serious coverage of the first World Cup in Uruguay in July 1930. This may be down to the relative popularity of the professional  American Soccer League (ASL) in the 1920's which drew its clubs from the Northeastern Unites States. The paper didn't send one of its correspondents to Montevideo, but rather printed the cablegrams from news-wire agency, the Associated Press (AP)

One of The New York Times earliest dispatches, published on 5th May 1930, was headlined, 'US Soccer Team Is Selected To Compete for World's Title.'

On 2nd July 1930, the newspaper carried the story that the US team had received a warm welcome in Montevideo.

It carried an AP report in the 14th July edition of the paper of the Americans opening match against Belgium (13 July), headlined, 'US Soccer Team Beats Belgium by 3-0, 20,000 See World's Tourney in Montevideo.' Containing four short paragraphs, two which referred specifically to the match, it noted the good performance of James Brown and William Gonsalves as well as the Belgium keeper. It didn't provide the identity of the scorers but did carry the result of France's 4-1 victory over Mexico and the upcoming fixtures between Peru and Romania and Yugoslavia versus Brazil.

For the United States next match on 17th July, the paper of record, once again posted a AP cablegram (United States Soccer Team Turns Back Paraguay, 3 to 0, in International Play, The New York Times, 18 July 1930). The five paragraph article unfortunately misidentified the goalscorers. Instead of giving Bert Patenaude credit for the hat-trick it described Florie scoring in the ninth minute and Gonsalves five minutes later, with Patenaude scoring the third in the second half. Its not clear if there was some kind of editorial decision to run with the AP rather than the other American news agency, United Press. The UP report published in the O Estado de Sao Paulo (18 July 1930)  did credit Patenaude with all three goals.

The New York Times would carry reports of other results of the teams involved in the competition, but after the Americans two victories and its advancement to the semi-finals it published a serious lengthy article of the teams chances of reaching the final. Six paragraphs long and titled 'US Favorite to Win World's Soccer Title', it was described as a special cable to The New York Times (21 July 1930). It read that the Americans were ''considered now the most likely winner of the title'', informing its readers that the pre-tournament favourites, Uruguay and Argentina, had struggled to reach the semi-finals. It would go on to state the Americans performance in their two victories had surprised the experts and that ''the local newspapers now agree that they are serious contenders to take the world's honors homeward.''

The predictions of the press turned out to be wrong as the United States lost its semi-final 6-1 to Argentina but The New York Times did give lengthy space to the final between Uruguay and Argentina. Titled 'URUGUAY ANNEXES TITLE AT SOCCER', 70,000 Spectators See Argentina Lose Contest for World's Honors by 4-2. VICTORS STAGE COME BACK. Trailing by 1-2 at End of First Half, They Launch Attack Which Brings Triumph (31 July 1930). The Associated Press dispatch comprised of three decent paragraphs of some hundred plus words. 

The coverage of The New York Times was a lot more extensive than that of the British press, who barely took notice, despite being the inventors of the game.

Its curious to how The New York Times referred to the World Cup, instead calling it variously as the 'worlds soccer tourney', the 'international tournament', the 'world soccer football championship tourney' or the 'world's open soccer championship tournament'.

The New York Times wasn't the only one to refer to the World Cup in such terms. The Pittsburgh Press, covering the Americans opening day victory over Belgium with a United Press dispatch, ran the headline 'U.S. Scores Upset In Soccer Tourney, Yankees Take First Round Victory From Belgians'. The article contained only three paragraphs and was lacking much in match detail, but did praise the performance of American goalkeeper, Douglas.

The Pittsburgh Press didn't publish an edition on the 18th July nor the 19th and its 20th July edition carried no news of the Americans 3-0 victory over Paraguay played on the 17th July 1930. Which is unfortunate because it favoured the United Press cablegrams, which had reported on Bert Patenaude's hat-trick. Then again, in its reports on the Belgian victory and the Americans 6-1 defeat to Argentina (The Pittsburgh Press, 27 July 1930), neither made any mention of the goalscorers.

Another paper from the same city, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, ignored the Americans two first round victories but did publish a short piece on the semi-finals (Uruguay, Argentina Enter Soccer Finals, 28 July 1930) buried at the bottom of page 14 of the first column. There was no mention of the final in its 31st July or 1st August editions.

Soccer fans in Berkeley, California could follow the progress of the US national team in the pages of the Berkeley Daily Gazette which published brief match reports of all three of the US matches. The first dispatch (14 July 1930) from the United Press contained thirteen lines and provided the score of the US-Belgium match and the France - Mexico result. The next two dispatches (18 July and 28 July) remain unsourced, but most likely from the United Press and contain a mere nine and ten lines respectively and little in the way of detail of the matches.

The Chicago Daily Tribune didn't report on either of the US team's two first round victories. The only soccer news of an international flavour reported in the 14th July edition (the day after the Americans 3-0 win over Belgium) was the Chicago Bricklayers 5-3 victory over the Mexican army before 5,000 fans at Sparta field.

When it did report on the national teams semi-final match ('Argentina Defeats U.S. in Soccer Tourney, 6-1', 27 July 1930) it was sourced from the Chicago Tribune Press Service and gave the most basic of detail and contains in total a mere twenty words. The elimination of the United States mean't their interest waned and they didn't bother reporting the final.

Nearly all the newspapers mentioned, published very brief match reports from the cablegrams of the Associated Press or United Press, both American news agencies. Its evident that many dispatches they received were editorialized when published in print, either due to space or perhaps reflecting the level of interest in the geographical location that they circulated. Both AP and UP wrote more detailed dispatches of the matches that were published in other newspapers outside of the United States that were reporting on the World Cup.

The Associated Press was founded in New York City in 1846 and would become the world's most prominent news agency. According to Wikipedia, in 1914, ''it introduced the teleprinter which transmitted directly to printers over telegraph wires. Eventually a world wide network of 60 - word -per - minute teleprinter machines [were] built.''

The United Press Associations, otherwise known as United Press or UP was created in 1907 by Midwest newspaper publisher, E.W Scripps to compete with AP. By 1921, UP had eroded AP's hold on the European mainland.

At the time of the 1930 World Cup, both had bureau's in South America and were deploying their journalist to report on the event. Mostly all of the Uruguayan and Argentinian newspapers had their own correspondents that reported on the matches. However, other South American newspapers, which couldn't afford to dispatch a reporter to Montevideo, relied on the Associated Press and UP cablegrams, as well as other news agencies such as Agencia Americana and Havas

Some newspapers would even publish the dispatches from both AP and UP alongside one another. Readers would find themselves reading different version of events that sometimes gave conflicting information to the identities of goalscorers (players didn't wear numbers on their jerseys).

The Brazilian newspaper, Correio da Manha, is an illustrative example of the practice of drawing on the services of both news agencies. Reporting on the Brazil versus Yugoslavia match (15 July 1930 edition) it dedicated several columns to the shock 2-1 defeat of the Brazilians, and published lengthy cablegrams not only from Agencia Americana but also United Press and AP.

Madrid's ABC (31 July 1930) used both relatively detailed dispatches from the two American news agencies for its report on the World Cup final. Peru's El Comercio would also draw on the services of both agencies.

O Estado de Sao Paulo published the lengthy dispatches of United Press as well as Agencia Americana and Rio's O Jornal also used United Press along with other news wire services on its reporting of the tournament. These are just a few examples of many.

While both Associated Press and United Press employed local journalist on its reporting, the two American news agencies, with the use of its international infrastructure, were instrumental in diffusing and disseminating reports on the events that took place at the first World Cup in Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1930.

If your interested in an analysis of the Brazilian press coverage at the 1930 World Cup, see the link below, although it is in Portuguese.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Bert Patenaude and the First World Cup Hat-trick

World Cup 1930 - Primer Campeonato Mundial de Futbol - Copa del Mundo 1930

Recently, the The Guardian posted an article on its website telling the story of the first World Cup hat-trick scored by American Bert Patenaude. The article explains how it took many decades before Fifa gave credit to the US forward, having previously listing Argentine forward, Guillermo Stabile, as the record holder, who scored three goals against Mexico in a 6-3 victory on the 19th July 1930. It was the work of Canadian historian and journalist, Colin Jose, whose research finally convinced Fifa to correct its records.

The article is one of many that can be found online that explains the story and I will post the links below. Patenaude scored his three goals against Paraguay on 17th July 1930 two days before Stabile scored his hat-trick. The research by Colin Jose revealed that the World Cup report written by team manager, Wilfred Cummings, noted that Patenaude gathered ''three markers that crashed against the rigging.'' It was also revealed that three team-mates of Patenaude (Billy Gonsalves, Arnie Oliver and James Brown) all credited him with all three goals. Jose also found match reports in Argentina's La Prensa (18 July 1930) and a United Press report published in Brazil's O Estado de Sao Paulo (18 July 1930) that supported the eye-witness accounts.

When Patenaude scored his three goals against Paraguay in their 3-0 victory, he had scored a total of fours goals having got of the mark in the Americans 3-0 victory over Belgium on the opening day of the tournament (13th July 1930). The Americans would reach the semi-finals, losing 6-1 to Argentina with James Brown getting the sole American goal.

So why have I written this blog when so much has been written about the first World Cup hat-trick. Firstly, there can never be enough written about Patenaude, especially when he didn't receive the credit in his own lifetime. And secondly, there is more evidence to support the claim.

Rony J Almeida's book, Where the Legend Began (2006), provides a review of the contemporary  match reports in the Uruguayan press. While Almeida never gave Patenaude credit for the hat-trick in his 2006 edition, he nonetheless provides evidence to support it. He lists La Tribuna Popular giving Patenaude three goals in its report of the match. The book notes that the scoring charts published in the July 22nd, 28th and 31st (1930) editions of El Diario list the American forward with four goals to his name. Four goals are also credited to the Fall River native in the scoring charts of the July 24th and 29th publications of Montevideo's El Bien Publico.

The official report, Primer Campeonato Mundial de Football, published by the Asociacion  Uruguaya de Futbol (AUF), list the scorers as McGhee (2) and Florie, on page 53, in its match report but on its final list of scorers (page 105), Patenaude is credited with four.

If further evidenced is required, the match report in Argentina's El Litoral (17 July 1930) describes Patenaude scoring his three goals in the 9th, 14th and 51st minute of the game. In the scoring charts of another Argentinian newspaper (El Orden, 29 July 1930) four goals are marked down by the American forwards name.

And finally, in the Argentina versus Mexico match reports found in Argentina's El Litoral (19 July 1930), Brazil's Diario de Noticias (20 July 1930), Folha da Mahna (20 July 1930), O Estado de Sao Paulo (20 July 1930) and Madrid's ABC (20 July 1930), none of them mention that Stabile's hat-trick was the first of the tournament. Indeed, they don't make much fuss of him scoring three goals at all.

Maybe it wasn't considered such an achievement at the time. Perhaps thats why it took so long for Patenaude to be honoured with the prestige as the first.

The World Cup's Lowest Ever Attendance - World Cup 1930

World Cup 1930 - Copa del Mundo 1930 - Cupa Mondială 1930 - Primer Campeonato Mundial de Futbol.

On 14th July 1930,  Romania and Peru took to the field of the Estadio Pocitos to play the first match in Group 3. It was the third match of the the tournament and the first match of the day as Brazil and Yugoslavia were scheduled to kick-off for later that afternoon at Parque Central. This match holds the distinction of the lowest ever attendance at a World Cup finals. However, there are discrepancies on the actual figure. One as low as 300 and the other 2,549.

The reasons for the low figure at the ten thousand capacity stadium may be due to the cold weather or perhaps the Uruguayan public were drawn to the more attractive tie of witnessing two time South American Champions (1919, 1922), Brazil, who hadn't played an official match since 1925, play Yugoslavia. Some twenty four thousand witnessed Yugoslavia's shock 2-1 victory.

Cris Freddi in his well-researched book, Complete Book of the World Cup (2002), believes the lowest figure to be correct and bases it on the photographs that exist of the match which ''make 300 look about right.'' A contemporary report from Brazil's A Noite (18 July 1930) gives a total of 2,549. Those who attended had a choice of four different ticket prices. The cheapest from $ 0.20 to $ 0.80 centésimos and the dearest, $ 1.50 to $ 2.00 pesos. The official match receipts given was a total income of $ 657.20 pesos. Photographs of the match show one side of the tribune dotted with a handful of spectators while no images of the small main grandstand are available. It appears that most of the photographers took up position on one side of the pitch and therefore its impossible to know if the main grandstand was occupied. Behind one of the goals, where it was standing room only, is where many of the locals appeared to take the option of the cheapest tickets. Even if you assumed that everyone brought the most expensive ticket (two pesos), dividing the total income with that number would equate to 328 fans. On the other hand, dividing the income ($ 657.20 pesos) by the bigger figure of 2,549 fans suggest each spectator spent an average of $ 0.25 centésimos for a ticket.

It is possible that 2,549 tickets for the match were sold but that not everyone turned up. The organizers also had problems with ticket touts/scalpers buying up the tickets and selling them at extortionate prices.

Whatever the real total it still holds the record of the lowest attendance at a World Cup match.

Below are links to images of the match as well as the official FIFA match report.

The link to the photograph below is not from the match but shows the main grandstand of the Estadio Pocitos.