Aug. 23, 1924 – USFA meeting at Hotel Wolcott in New York to discuss “Reported jumping of contracts by professionals and possible methods of meeting these conditions.”
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The Boston Wonder Workers helped spark a controversy by recruiting Scottish players for the initial season in the American Soccer League in 1924-25. Rangers captain Tommy Muirhead, who joined the Wonder Workers as player-coach, and Scottish international Alex McNab (Morton) were out of contract, and fullback Tommy McMillan (Dunfermline) was considered a free transfer.
But conflicts emerged as John Ballantyne (Partick Thistle) and goalkeeper Willie Paterson (Dunfermline) accepted offers from Boston after having been paid “closed-season wages” by their clubs, effectively agreeing to contract renewals, according to Colin Jose’s “American Soccer League 1921-1931/The Golden Years of American Soccer.” The Wonder Workers were offering to triple salaries – McNab said he turned down an offer of four pounds per week in Scotland to be paid 12 pounds per week in Boston.
George M. Collins’ story in The Boston Globe noted: “Irrespective of the way the matter is adjusted, Boston soccer fans will be more than eager to get a look at these players who have caused the soccer legislators, managers and fans over in Britain to bestir themselves.”
The Wonder Workers took a 3-1 win over Bethlehem Steel in their opening game before a 3,000 crowd at the Walpole Street Grounds on Aug. 30, 1924, in what appears to have been an exhibition match. The Wonder Workers took a 2-1 victory over the Providence Clamdiggers in their ASL opener on Sept. 13, 1924.
The Wonder Workers went on to finish in fourth place in the ASL and capture the Lewis Cup and U.S. Professional Cup.
TODAY IN NEW ENGLAND SOCCER HISTORY