Soccer Almanac

American soccer writing, history & data.

Inaugural SLAFL 1912-13 season

Dec. 31, 2021 |  Categories:  SLAFL   St. Louis  

During the offseason, Phil Kavanaugh, former St. Louis soccer star and long-time referee, took over the management of Kulage's Park. He led the organization of a new St. Louis Soccer Football Association for the 1912-13 season which played doubleheaders at the renamed Pastime Park. The venue's grand stand and bleachers were overhauled and modernized and a new dressing room was installed.

Winton E. Barker was elected president of the organization. Barker was also president of the American Football Association. The SLAFL affiliated with the and was run according to the mandates of that organization. The affiliation also began an era in which the soccer strife in St. Louis, which lasted for three seasons, was part of a larger soccer war for control over the sport in the U.S.

Teams included Harry L. Yawitz (from the American Soccer Football League), Ben Miller's Athletics, O'Brien Live Wires (owned by John O'Brien), and the Dempseys (backed by Rev. Father Timothy Dempsey). In order to entice players to the league, the owners voted to divide the forfeit money among the players at the end of the season. The affiliation with the AFA also allowed the league to obtain the services of players from the eastern U.S. and Europe who refrained from signing to a St. Louis league previously for fear of being blacklisted.

The O'Briens edged Yawitz for the league championship. On March 9, 1913, the O'Briens met the Innisfails (champions of the St. Louis Soccer League) for the city championship but lost 6-0.

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