Thomas Swords

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Tommy Swords
Personal information
Full nameThomas Joseph Swords
Date of birth October 2, 1885[ citation needed ]
Place of birth Fall River, Massachusetts, United States
Date of death March 29, 1953(1953-03-29) (aged 67)
Place of death Fall River, Massachusetts, United States
Position(s) Forward
Senior career*
YearsTeamApps(Gls)
1903 Whittenton A.C.
1904–1909 Fall River Rovers
1910–1912 Philadelphia Hibernian
1913 New Bedford Whalers
1914–1920 Fall River Rovers
National team
1916 United States 2 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Thomas "Tommy" Swords (born in Fall River, Massachusetts; died March 29, 1953 in Fall River, Massachusetts) was an American soccer forward, who served as captain of the U.S. national team in its first two games. He is a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

Contents

Club career

Swords was born and grew up in Fall River, Massachusetts, USA, an early hot bed of U.S. soccer. In 1903, Swords joined Whittenton Athletic Club of Taunton, Massachusetts. After one season, he jumped to his hometown-based Fall River Rovers of the New England League. In 1909, the Rovers won the league title. In 1910, he moved to the Philadelphia Hibernian of the Eastern Soccer League. After two seasons, he moved to the New Bedford Whalers for the 1913 season. However, he was back with the Fall River Rovers in 1914 and would remain with the team until he retired in 1920. During his second stint with the Rovers, Swords experienced some of his greatest achievements when the team went to three consecutive National Challenge Cup finals between 1916 and 1918. In 1916, the team fell to Bethlehem Steel. Then in 1917, they gained revenge when they defeated Bethlehem to take the Cup title. The two teams met again in 1918. This time Bethlehem won in a replay after the two teams played to a 2–2 tie in the first game. In this second game, Swords did not shine as his brutal tackle knocked out the Bethlehem goalkeeper. [1]

National team

In 1916, the United States Football Association (USFA) recruited a team, called the All-American Soccer Football Team, to represent the U.S. on a tour of Scandinavian countries. At the time, these countries and the U.S. were all neutral during the ongoing World War I. Thomas Swords was selected as the team captain. During the six game tour, the U.S. played two recognized international games, one on August 21, 1916, against Sweden and another on September 3, 1916, against Norway. There are disagreements about who scored the first national team goals. The National Soccer Hall of Fame lists Dick Spalding, but other sources state that Swords scored an unassisted goal against Sweden. [2] After this tour, Swords never played for the U.S. again.

He was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1951.

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References

  1. Archived October 28, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  2. Litterer, David. "The Year in American Soccer - 1916". sover.net. Retrieved 2018-08-27.