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Sept. 19, 1926 – Fall River FC 3:2 Sparta Prague/ Fall River FC 4:0 Springfield FC, ASL game at Mark’s Stadium (Att.: 6,139)

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The Fall River FC Marksmen lived up to their reputation as one of the top teams in the U.S. with a victory over Sparta Prague, which had a 12W-2L-3D record on a tour covering Sept. 6-Nov. 3, 1926. Before the match, the Boston Globe’s George M. Collins wrote: “Much has been said about soccer in Central Europe. No country of that group has made any more progress at the game than the Czechs. I recall their game against Switzerland at the Olympic(s) in Paris and it was nip and tuck all the way. The Tiverton field should suit the boys from Prague for it’s hard and fast. Most Continental countries have more or less adopted the Scottish type of soccer but the Czechs are not only expert dribblers but play their positions like professionals do in Great Britain.”

Coyle and Paterson gave Fall River a two-goal lead, Sparta rallying on goals by Miclik and Ferdinand Hajny for a 2-2 halftime deadlock. Dougie Campbell converted the decider “late in the session,” according to the Globe. “The contest was rough, both sides being equally guilty. Many substitutes were used in the match by agreement between the managers.”

Sparta outscored opponents, 44-18, on this tour, also losing to the Brooklyn Wanderers (3-1) in its second-to-last match on Oct. 30, 1926. Sparta went on to win the 1927 Mitropa Cup, the inaugural edition of a forerunner of the UEFA Champions Cup.

Fall River played a doubleheader, defeating Springfield FC, 4-0, in an American Soccer League game in the opener.

TODAY IN NEW ENGLAND SOCCER HISTORY

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