Soccer Squad Faces Fall Schedule With Prospects of Powerful Team
Coach McDonald Hopeful as 20 Men Turn Out for Practice; Merek and Purinton to Star
As the second post-war soccer season approaches, prospects are good for a strong, experienced Varsity team to compete this fall in a schedule as yet tentative, but which is expected to contain a dozen contests, including matches with Yale and Princeton.
Varsity coach James McDonald and Freshman coach Andrew Guyda are holding daily practices during the summer, which are attended by upwards of 20 soccer hopefuls.
Activities were suspended in 1942 because of the war, but informal service teams competed each autumn with contingents from French and English ships in port. Last year regular Varsity and Freshman teams played full schedules again.
Two Returning Veterans
McDonald bases his current optimism on the 1945 showing, in which Harvard, although outclassed by college teams which were still made up of Army and Navy men, did exceptionally well in defeating Amherst and the Coast Guard Academy, tieing M.I.T., and dropping five other engagements.
Eight Freshmen played with last year's aggregation and are expected to see action again this fall McDonald also has enthusiastic words for two returning veterans, 1942 Freshman fullback Bob Purinton, whom the coach calls "an outstanding player," and Merck, captain of the 1939 Freshman team.
Before coming to Harvard, McDonald managed the Boston American League Soccer Club for 20 years, a team composed of players largely imported from Europe, which plays its home games in Fenway Park. He also served as head coach for Northeastern University.
Same Game Everywhere
Guyda played with the same Boston team in 1939 as an amateur, and was chosen for the United States Olympic soccer team in that year, the last in which the Games were held. By a special arrangement common only to soccer teams, an amateur can participate in professional activities during his apprenticeship. Since then, Guyda has been Freshman coach at Harvard.
An outstanding feature of soccer, according to McDonald, is its standard set of international rules, which no other sport can boast. "It's the same game everywhere," he said, "even in Russia."