American soccer writing, history & data.
The NAFL was in trouble during the 1915-16 season. Newark, Paterson Rangers, True Blues and Bronx United all were suspended then ultimately dropped due to the inability to meet the financial needs of playing in the league. Two of the strongest amateur teams in New Jersey made the jump to the pro ranks and joined the NAFL. The Alley Boys F.C. of Harrison and Bayonne's Babcock & Wilcox F.C. were former members of the New Jersey State Amateur League which the Alley Boys were the three-time reigning champions. The league also brought in another amateur club, the Haledon Thistles of Haledon, N.J., to bring the league up to the desired eight clubs. But, just before the season began, Clan MacDonald, tired of the constant traveling, dropped out of the NAFL and returned to the New York State Football League.
The seven-team NAFL limped through the season plagued with numerous postponements and protested games. Brooklyn planned to play all their home games at Manhattan Field but were forced to give up those grounds and played all their home games at West Side baseball park in Jersey City.
In late October, the New Jersey State Football Association and four NAFL players were suspended by the U.S.F.A. after the NJSFA gave permission to the Newark Manufacturers' League to play professional players who were already signed by other clubs. The NJSFA refused an order from the U.S.F.A. to rescind the permission which led to the suspensions. The state association and players were reinstated a month later after the NJSFA rescinded its order permitting its professionals to play in the Manufacturers' League. The Haledon Thistles dropped out on December 7 due to a poor start and meager attendance at their games. Due to these numerous disruptions most teams only played a handful or less of games.
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