American soccer writing, history & data.
The annual meeting of the California Football Association was held on September 1, 1908. The organization voted in favor of re-joining the Pacific Amateur Athletic Association. That body had reorganized and interested soccer people had become involved. Dr. F. W. D'Evelyn was elected the new president.
Soon after the California Association Football League met and added the Building Trades Athletic Association as its new members. The prior season, the Wanderers teams played in the Saturday league and was affiliated with the Building Trades organization. Upon joining the CAFL, the Wanderers formally joined the Building Trades A.A. and changed its name to conform with the rules of the soccer organizations. With all eight clubs returning from the prior season, the CAFL grew to nine teams for the 1908-09 season.
The Albion Rovers retained its home at Freeman's Park and the San Francisco club signed an agreement to join them at the venue. The Building Trades secured the Presidio athletic grounds while the Independents and Scotia shared the stadium at Golden Gate Park. The Vampires were joined at their home of the Alameda cricket grounds by the Oakland Hornets. Due to lack of grounds in San Francisco, San Mateo became the home of the two remaining CAFL clubs. The Thistle club engaged the grounds at Monte Diablo Avenue and E Street which they shared with the Burns Club.
The CAFL season began in October of 1908 and ran through February of 1909. The league title was a close affair with three teams vying for the championship. In the next-to last match, the league-leading Vampires beat the Independents 5-0 to knock the latter team out of the title race. were beaten in their last match by the Albion Rovers. But, in their final match on February 21, the Vampires were beaten by the Rovers 3-1 before 2000 at Freeman's Park. That result opened the door for the second-place Thistles to tie for the league lead in their final game. But, on February 28, the Oakland Hornets edged the Thistles 1-0 at Freeman's Park. That match closed the league season and gave the Vampires the title with 24 points. The Thistles ended second with 22 and the Independents were third with 21.
The CFA cup competition began the same weekend. Fifteen teams took part in the cup. That included the nine CAFL teams, five teams from the Western League (a new junior league organized by Edgar Pomeroy), and a combined team from Sacramento. The final was held on May 16 at Freeman's Park. Albion Rovers beat the Thistles 3-1 to take home the cup.
The CFA cup semifinals were pushed back well over a month because the CAFL send a picked team to British Columbia to play a series of matches during the month of April. The All-California team won three matches, lost two and drew one. On their return, the All-California team hosted the Southern California picked team and beat the Los Angeles area squad 6-0 at the 11th and Mission Street grounds.
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