Soccer Almanac

American soccer writing, history & data.

WISL 1944-45 season

Nov. 19, 2021 |  Categories:  Baltimore   WISL  

The Maryland State and D.C. Soccer Association again made plans to operate the War Industrial Soccer League and Baltimore Major Soccer League for the 1944-45 season. The BMSL had been dormant the prior season due to the lack of players able to fill clubs and the same again happened the 1944-45 season as only the WISL carried on as the top-level amateur league in the area.

The WISL dropped down to eight clubs. Local No. 24, CIO and Local No. 33, CIO did not return but Morstein Jewelers joined the league. The Martin Bombers did not lose a match in the first half but its three draws were enough to drop it behind the one-loss Morstein by one point. United Steel Workers again won the second-half title.

On April 15, 1945, Morstein and United Steel Workers met in the title match at the Patterson Park enclosure. It was a close affair and, in the second half, tempers began to flare. United Steel's Adolph Zolman took issue at a call by linesman Johnny Jurs who was a member of the Morstein club. At this point in history, each team would designate one linesman to officiate with a neutral referee. Zolman threw a punch at Jurs and that started a free-for-all in which spectators joined. Order was eventually restored and park police cleared the enclosure entirely except for the bench players of the two teams. Morstein would go on to win the match 4-3 and the league title.

For the first time, an American Soccer League club entered the Rowland Cup. Baltimore S.C. was drawn to face Martin Bombers in the first round of the competition. But the ASL club had to forfeit due to a conflict with their first round National Challenge Cup match that same day. Martin Bombers made it to the Rowland Cup final and faced the cup holders, Combined British Services club of Washington, D.C. The game took place on March 18, 1945 at Baltimore's Bugle Field., After 110 minutes, the match ended in a 3-3 draw and the game was replayed two weeks later. The result was a near-carbon copy of the prior year's final with the Washington club beating the Bombers 5-1 before 600 at Bugle Field.

During the offseason, the MSDCSA made plans to again operate the WISL and bring back the dormant BMSL. But, both of those leagues never returned as, instead, the Greater Baltimore Soccer League was revived after a hiatus of a few years.

Standings are incomplete especially for the second half of the 1944-45 season.

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