Soccer Almanac

American soccer writing, history & data.

CFL 1916-17 season

Aug. 8, 2022 |  Categories:  CAFL  

During the annual meeting of the California Football Association held at the end of July of 1916, the association's old guard was completely swept out of office with the exception of secretary Bill Crawford. E. H. Sinclair of the Olympic Club was elected president. Harry Maloney, the coach at Stanford University, was elected to chairman of the executive committee, a position that Donald Morrison had held for the prior 10 years.

The California Football League held their annual meeting a week later on Saturday, August 5 at Los Nidos Hall at 16th and Mission Streets in San Francisco. Alameda F.C. quit the league. The Pastime Club, champions of 1913 through 1915 made an application to return to the league was was denied. That left the league with 10 clubs. D. J. Stevenson was elected league president.

On Sunday, September 3, the Barbarians hosted a picked team from Los Angeles at Ocean Shore grounds. A cup to be known as the Spalding trophy was offered for the winner of the match. The donor's intention was to make it a prize for an annual intercity match. The Barbarians won the game 3-1. The next day, Labor Day, the Los Angeles team beat a CFL picked team 1-0 at the Golden Gate Park stadium. The Labor Day committee offered a handsome cup to the winning team.

The CFL schedule began on Sunday, October 1. The San Francisco and Argonaut clubs were to play home games at Lincoln Park in Alameda but each only played a few there. Their remaining home games were played on the CFL's different San Francisco grounds. The Olympic Club played their home matches at Ewing Field which they shared with the Barbarians.. The Thistles and Burns Club shared the 8th and Market Street grounds in San Francisco. The Celtic and Union Iron Works teams played at Ocean Shore grounds at 12th and Mission Streets in San Francisco. The Vampires shared Croll's Gardens in Alameda with the Rangers.

The CFL season ended in mid-March of 1917 but the Union Iron Works club clinched the title in the middle of February. Even with two points deducted from their total due to the use of an ineligible player, the UIW team had an easy time winning the league championship. On the other hand, the Vampires came in last place in the CFL for the first time in their history. After winning the league title in 1911, the Vampires had hit on hard times coming in the bottom half of the table for the prior six seasons.

During the winter break around New Year's, picked teams from Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Francisco played each other at the Ocean Shore grounds. The Los Angeles team beat Sacramento 5-2 on December 30. San Francisco then beat Los Angeles 7-2 the next day. And, on New Year's Day, San Francisco beat Sacramento 5-1 to win the State championship.

The Burns Club made another surprising run to the CFA cup final. But, as before, they lost in the final game. This time the Union Iron Works club completed the double beating Burns 4-1 at Ocean Shore grounds on April 29.

©2022 by Daniel Creel. All rights reserved.