RANGERS will face Atletico Mineiro in the Florida Cup today and we’re remembering previous trips across the pond.
Throughout the history of the club, the Light Blues have travelled to America on many different occasions and across the next couple of weeks, we are going to be remembering those trips across the pond in a series of articles.
We’ve already remembered the tour of the states from 1928 and from today we will remember yet another historic trip from 1930.
The Gers were back on the road as they travelled over 700km in the late evening to arrive in New York City where they would be back on the field, just a day after playing in Canada where they won 3-0 against Hamilton Thistles.
Bill Struth’s side would see its biggest attendance of the 1928 and 1930 tour, thus far, with almost 30,000 spectators cramming in to the Polo Grounds in New York, the old home of the New York Giants.
There were a number of changes in the attacking areas with Bob McPhail making his first appearance of the tour and Jimmy Smith, Jimmy Marshall and Alan Morton were included in the starting line-up against the New York Nationals.
The Scottish champions were famously known for their dazzling style of football but a resilient aspect of the squad shone through with the Nationals leading 3-1 at half-time in this match, despite taking the lead after just five minutes through McPhail.
But a rampant second half performance would see the score overturned thanks to goals from Smith, McPhail and then the deciding goal from Morton towards the end gave the Gers a 5-4 victory.
Funnily enough, Rangers’ tour of Canada was completely overshadowing Kilmarnock’s trip across Canada and Eastern America. Scottish Football’s reputation was rapidly growing in North America and Killie did their own part in creating good impressions with 11 wins from 17 games.
A few days later, the Gers took on Fall River Marksmen in Massachusetts and again, Struth rung the changes ahead of two games in two days. Brown and Nicholson replaced McPhail and Morton in the starting line-up, and apart from that, it was the same eleven which beat the New York Nationals 5-4.
The clash between Rangers and Fall River was one of the most anticipated matches either side has played in their successful histories. Both sides had come off the back of a domestic treble with Fall River winning the American Soccer League, the Challenge Cup and the Lewis Cup.
George Brown opened the scoring after seven minutes at Battery Park with a neat shot from outside the area and the Scots doubled their lead on the half-hour mark through Davie Meiklejohn.
Fall River were much-improved in the second half and were dominant for a 15-minute spell where they scored two goals through Gonsalves and Nilson to peg Rangers back.
But young Jimmy Smith popped up, eight minutes from the end, to give Rangers another victory in North America. It was a satisfying win for the Light Blues given they failed to beat Fall River in 1928.
On a sour note for the development of US Soccer, the Marksmen moved from their usual Mark’s stadium in North Riverton to New York where they merged with two local clubs before re-locating again to New Bedford where they became New Bedford Whalers.
Bob McPhail and Alan Morton were restored to the Rangers team for the clash with Montreal Carsteel and after an overnight trip back to Canada, the Gers came out on top in another swashbuckling performance.
Jimmy Fleming was involved in three of Rangers’ five goals and strangely, did not get on the scoresheet himself. He played through George Brown for the opening goal and he linked well with Morton to set up the first of Jimmy Smith’s two goals.
McPhail netted a third for the Light Blues early in the second half but the hosts gave the Gers a scare with two quickfire goals which made it 3-2 but a second each for Brown and Smith put the game to bed in front of just over 6,000 local fans.
Struth’s championship-winning squad travelled for almost two days and racked up over 2,000 km as they arrived in the West Canadian city of Winnipeg.
Sandy Archibald kicked off the scoring against Winnipeg Fort Rouge on three minutes with a low drive from 20 yards out and Jimmy Fleming added a second just before the interval to put the Gers 2-1 ahead. McPhail added a third, and despite being pegged back, Fleming made it 4-2 towards the end.
Part Three concludes the club’s tour of Canada with matches in Edmonton, Vancouver, Victoria and Calgary before a final trip back in to the United States to complete the 14-match voyage.
Gers In America 1928