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Team of Distinction - Toronto Scottish 1933

2006 Toronto Scottish 1933The Toronto Scottish team of 1933 has been chosen as the Team of Distinction for 2006. Previous winners of this honour have been: the national team of 1888 which toured the British Isles, Galt Football Club, winners of the Olympic Gold Medal in 1904 and Westminster Royals, national champions in 1928.

On June 11, 1933, Toronto Scottish, who were the Canadian champions in 1932, played St. Louis Stix, Baer and Fuller, who were the U.S. champions in 1933 at Soldier Field in Chicago, for the so called North American Soccer Championship. This competition wasn't played every year but once in a while it was arranged and this was one of those years. On this particular day Soldier Field had no grass on it, because, Scottish were told, it had been taken up to be relaid. Only one Toronto paper, the Star, sent someone to cover the game, Bill Cole, who passed away some years ago, was the reporter. Stix, Baer and Fuller were a team owned by a large St. Louis department store, and their line up contained many of the biggest stars in U.S. soccer at that time. Of the forward line Alec McNab, Billy Gonsalves, Werner Nilsen and Jimmy Roe are all in the National Soccer Hall of Fame. McNab was a Scottish international, Gonsalves had played on the U.S. World Cup team in 1930 and would again in 1934, Nilsen, Willie McLean and William Lehman would also be on the U.S. World Cup team in 1934. 

The Scottish team on that memorable day, in the 2-3-5 formation of those days, was: Hugh Wallace, in goal, Bobby McAdam and Jimmy Noke were the full backs. Billy Somers, Harry Phillips and Davie Weir, formed the half back line, while the forwards were Angus McDonald (Johnny Graham), Bill McManus, Andy Stevens, Norman Donald, Bill Grassam (Jack Patterson). Substitute not used was Johnny Rogers. St. Louis scored first through Billy Gonsalves, and it was 1-0 at half time. Ten minutes into the second half McManus equalized and Graham headed the winner for Scottish with nine minutes left to play. The big star of this Scottish team was centre forward Andy Stevens, who was born in England but grew up in Toronto. He had played for a number of teams in Toronto before going to the U.S. to play in the professional American Soccer League for Boston and New Bedford, where he scored 150 goals. Billy McManus had a trial with Manchester United, then a second division team, later that season, but didn't make the grade. Billy Somers was the son of a famous Scottish international, Davie Weir had played for Glasgow Rangers before coming to Canada and Harry Phillips, a young man at the time, went on to play after World War Two for the Toronto Greenbacks and to win a U.S. Open Cup medal with Chicago Vikings.