July 3, 1930 – U.S. national team trains for first time since arriving in Montevideo for first World Cup
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U.S. arrived in Uruguay on the SS Munargo on July 1, 1930, after an 18-day journey with stops in Bermuda, Rio de Janeiro and Santos. From manager W.R. Cummings’ report: training “started on board the S.S. Munargo the morning after leaving Bermuda, June 17th, as a daily routine; and let it be said that it was acknowledged that we had the best conditioned outfit to participate in the World’s Series. … We continued strenuous daily practice sessions (rain or shine) alternating on the Nacional’s field at Central Park and Penarol’s field only a few blocks away from the hotel.”
Training ended July 8. U.S. took a 3-0 win over Belgium in the opener July 13, 1930: “The day was sultry and dreary, the field being a bed of wet sticky clay with pools of water too numerous to count. It was nevertheless to our liking and as we had a couple week’s jump on the four European teams the conditions were really ‘made to order’ so to speak.” Montevideo had experienced 92 successive days of rain when the U.S. team landed, and as the game kicked off, snow fell for the first time in five years.
The U.S. roster included 16 players, including the following with New England connections: Andy Auld (Providence Gold Bugs), James Brown (future Greenwich High School and the Brunswick School coach), captain Tommy Florie (New Bedford Whalers), James Gentle (Brookline High School graduate), Billy Gonsalves (Fall River Marksmen), Arnie Oliver (Providence Gold Bugs), Bert Patenaude (Fall River Marksmen), plus Mike Bookie (ex-Boston Wonder Workers and New Bedford Whalers) and two former Fall River Marksmen, goalkeeper Jimmy Douglas and midfielder Jimmy Gallagher. The U.S. played its first World Cup game July 13, 1930 (3-0 win over Belgium, goals by Bart McGhee, Florie and Patenaude).
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