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Rare American Medals
Regional clubs were starting points for great players and later great clubs.   Fred Beardsworth began a splendid career in America by winning this medal with the local team New Bedford F.C. Beginning in 1909 the Peel Cup became a well established competition in Chicago. The events not only included the soccer matches but other contests such as running and ball skills.  This  1914 medal was given for participation in the Peel Cup. State Cups competitions, governed at the local level, allowed smaller clubs in powerful geographic regions to seperate from the domination of the big clubs. This 1921 State Championships of Connecticut was won by Graphophone - a company purchased by English owners a year before. The influence of experienced British players helped the club to success. The New York State Footballers' Protective Association, established to help retired and injured players, sponsored one of the earliest international competitions. This included domestic sides for England, Ireland, Scotland, the Continent (Belgian and German) and American players. Much of the American selection were the makings of the first U.S. National Team. This medal is from the first tournament in 1912-13 which was won by Scotland. As with many clubs in the Chicago area, Palmer Park FC managed to make a run at the U.S. Open Cup - making the 3rd Round in 1920. Though they were only Division 2 Champions, like many clubs they were drawn to the popularity and prestige of the Open Cup competition. The Finals of the 1929 National Challenge Cup, or U.S. Open Cup, was played between the New York Hakoah (Brooklyn) and Madison Kennel Club (St. Louis). The Hakoah club, established from touring Vienna Hakoah players (Austria) became a force in American professional soccer. This is an official's badge from the game played in Brooklyn. The National Soccer League of Chicago was one of the most powerful regional competitions in the United States. Chicago soccer clubs were regularly involved in the National Challenge Cup and had their exclusive tournament in the Peel Cup. This 1927-28 Championship Ring, believed to be the oldest of its kind in America, is made of 24 kt gold. The West Penn Challenge Cup pitted the best clubs in the Pittsburgh area. Heidelberg, Morgans and Vestaburg - the winners of this 1925 medal, all competed for regional honors. Very few clubs dominated American professional soccer like Fall River F.C.. Winners of the National Challenge Cup a record 5 times, they succeeded in losing only 1 game (of 39) while winning the treble in the 1929-30 season: A.S.L. Champions ; National Challenge Cup Winners; Lewis Cup Winners. This is the 24 kt. gold medal from the 1929-30 National Challenge Cup (U.S. Open Cup). Sparta FC began a domination of Chicago soccer in the 1930's. The club were winners of both the National Soccer League and the Peel Cup in 1931. This is their League medal.