American soccer writing, history & data.
The Southern New England Soccer League expected to enter the 1917-18 season with the same eight clubs from the prior season, but the Howard & Bullough club withdrew and disbanded just before the season began in September. Previously that summer, the U.S.F.A. had ruled that the Southern New England FA could not limit its clubs to only two cup competitions. A faction of the SNEFA pushed to leave the organization over the rule but relented before the soccer season began. As such, all the SNESL clubs returned to AFA Cup competition as well as the National Challenge Cup and the Times Cup (the SNEFA's cup competition). That schedule congestion and the loss of players due to U.S. entry into World War I again caused numerous postponements and canceled matches.
The league season again ended unfinished and J. & P. Coats, with a perfect 7-0-0 record, was named league champions. The Fall River Rovers it to the final of the National Challenge Cup for a second straight year and again faced Bethlehem Steel Co. F.C. The first game ended in a 1-1 draw and the Rovers couldn't hold on to their title losing 3-0 in the replay. Although they had a terrible SNESL season, Fore River F.C. took the Northern Massachusetts and New Hampshire Soccer FA cup winning the final by 1-0 over the Fisk Red Top F.C. of Chicopee. New Bedford F.C. made it to the final of the Times Cup but the competition, with other matches still to play, was suspended until the next season due to ongoing difficulties.
The league held its annual meeting that August and the members decided not to operate during the 1918-19 season due to the scarcity of available players.
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