The most remarkable years of his career though, came with Bethlehem Steel (1924-1930).
Bethlehem Football Club had been founded in 1907 and, under the sponsorship of the The Bethlehem Steel Corporation opened the first purpose built 'soccer' stadium in the United States. The patronage of the mega rich steel company ownership enabled the team to turn professional in 1914, attracting a number of top players to the club.
Joining the in National Association Foot Ball League in1917, Steel became one of the consistently strongest teams in the States. In 1921 the American Soccer League was formed. Steel moved the 110km to Philadelphia for a season (as Philadelphia Field Club)- they were successful on the pitch but poorly supported and thus financially weakened- prompting a return to Bethlehem.
In the 1920s Bethlehem (population 12,837 in 1910 and 50,358 in 1920) was the centre of the flourishing American steel industry- the 'I beam' that appeared on the clubs badge being indispensable in the construction of steel framed buildings.
Let's have a look at Stark's goalscoring stats during his years with Bethlehem Steel.
Stark joined Steel from New York (Field Club) who were selling off their players in the face of mounting debt. Stark had been the previous season's American Soccer League top scorer with 21 goals. At Steel Stark switched from outside right to centre forward and found himself playing alongside several players imported from Scotland.
American Soccer League- 2nd
National Challenge Cup- semi finals
American Cup- winners.
League - 67 goals in 44 games, 1.52 goals per game, 52.75 % of his team's goals.
American Cup- 3 goals in 2 games.
Total-70 goals in 46 games.
American Soccer League- 4th
National Challenge Cup- winners.
Lewis Cup Cup- winners.
League - 43 goals in 37 games, 1.16 goals per game, 37.3 % of his team's goals.
National Challenge Cup- 7 goals in 5 games.
Lewis Cup - 5 goals in 3 games
Internationals-08/11/1925- 5 goals in a match v Canada.
Stark only played 2 internationals for the USA and these were his only goals.
Total- 59 goals in 47 games.
American Soccer League- winners.
National Challenge Cup- winners.
League - 23 goals in 29 games, 0.79 goals per game, 20.1 % of his team's goals.
Lewis Cup - 2 goals in 1 game
Total- 25 goals in 33 games.
American Soccer League - playoff semi finals (a new format was tried with two halves to the season and a playoff to decide the overall championship).
League - 27 goals in 46 matches, 0.58 goals per game, 21.7 % of his team's goals.
National Challenge Cup- 1 goal in 2 games.
Lewis Cup - 6 goals in 4 games.
Total- 34 goals in 52 games.
American Soccer League - withdrew after 6 matches to join the...
Eastern Professional Soccer League-winners.
Stark's record: American Soccer League- 2 goals in 6 games
Eastern Professional Soccer League- 41 goals in 32 games
National Challenge Cup- 6 goals in 4 games.
Total- 49 goals in 42 games.
In the autumn of 1929 a new Eastern Professional Soccer League season began, but due to financial crisis and the re organization of the leagues this season was terminated, Bethlehem Steel were in top spot at the time with 11 wins from 13 games.
Stark's record: 9 goals in 7 games.
1930Bethlehem Steel rejoined the reformed American Soccer League. The first half of the season was played as The Atlantic Coast Soccer League. Bethlehem Steel were in 7th spot (out of 11) at the mid season break. The team were then disbanded. Stark went on a tour of Europe with Fall River Marksmen before joining Newark Americans. He was invited to be in he USA squad for the 1930 World Cup but declined due to business commitments.
American Soccer League- 28 goals in 19 games. 1.47 goals per game, 42.4 % of his team's goals.
National Challenge Cup- 6 goals in 5 games.
Total- 34 goals in 24 games.
Bethlehem Steel career record:
275 goals in 252 games.