Saturday, December 21, 2013

21 December 1897 - Stark's Start

On 21 December 1897, legendary American goalscorer Archie Stark was born in Glasgow.

He moved to the US when he was thirteen, settling with his family in New Jersey, which was a hotbed of association football. In 1912, he signed his first professional contract with Kearny Scots and stayed there for four seasons, followed by spells with other New Jersey clubs Babcock & Wilcox (1916-17), West Hudson (1917), and--after service in France during World War I--Paterson (1919) and Erie (1919-21).

When the American Soccer League formed in 1921, Stark joined the New York Field Club and helped them finish as league runners-up. He spent two more seasons there, scoring a total of 56 goals in 80 appearances, then moved to Bethlehem Steel for the 1924-25 season. His scoring form exploded as he netted an incredible 70 times in 46 games, followed by 54 in 45 games in the 1925-26 season when Bethlehem Steel won the National Challenge Cup. In both seasons, he was the league's top scorer.

He went on to win three league titles with Bethlehem Steel before leaving the club for the Newark Americans in 1930, then retired in 1934 after a season with Kearny Irish.

Despite his scoring prowess, he made only two appearances for the US national team, both coming against Canada in 1925. He scored five goals.

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