From CNN INTERNATIONAL FOOTBAL EDITOR JAMES MONTAGUE'S INTERVIEW:
"In 1950 we played Besiktas of Istanbul, in St. Louis. They beat us badly, 5-0. It was a tryout as much as anything, and then we faced an English select team with Stanley Matthews playing, in New York, and they won 1-0. Those were the first times the World Cup team played together. The next day we left for Brazil. It took us two and a half days to get down there!"*
Walter Bahr, Captain of U.S. National Team:
BESIKTAŞ IN THE U.S. PRESS 1950**:
Besiktas FC (Turkey): May 21, 1950 through June 11, 1950.
Results: 5 wins, 1 draw, 1 loss.
Roster: Recep Akiner, Mehmet Atcilar, Feyzi Buyukyelvrim, Tenas Casis, Fahrt, Conserver, Levon Ekenyan, Bulent Esen, Kemel Gulcelik, Sukru Tosuncuk, Kemal Unlu, Yavug Ureten, Kamil Uzulme, Sevket Yorulmaz. Coach: Eric Keen.
5/21/50 Besiktas 5, New York Stars 3 (at Randalls Island, NYC)
5/24/50 Besiktas 1, New England Stars 1 (at Fall River, MA)
5/28/50 Besiktas 5, Chicago Stars 2 (at Chicago, IL)
5/31/50 Besiktas 5, U.S. Stars 0 (at St. Louis, MO)
6/6/50 Besiktas 7, Philadelphia Stars 1 (at Philadelphia, PA)
6/9/50 Besiktas 3, American League Stars 1 (at Polo Grounds, NYC)
6/11/50 Besiktas 1, Manchester United 2 (at Kearny, NJ)
** Note the misspelling and mix-up of last names like:
Recep Adanır .Fahrettin Cansever, Şükrü Gülesin, Vedii Tosuncuk etc.
Here are the team members names with correct spelling who had played during the tournament:Mehmet, Fevzi, Ethem-,Yavuz, Yani. Dr. Vedii Tosuncuk,Çaçi Nusret, Maruli, Levon, Ali İhsan, Eşref ,Çengel Hüseyin, Rahmi Tekin, Faruk, Süleyman, Kemal , Bülent Esel, Fahrettin, Recep Adanır, Şükrü Gülesin.
*The same U.S.A Team, under the leadership of captain Walter Bahr was going to upset the English National team 1-0 few days later in THE WORLD CUP, considered one of the biggest upsets of the game's history.
BULENT ESEL GETS A KICK IN THE FACE DURING THE ST. LOUIS GAME
BESIKTAS F.C. BEFORE BOARDING PANAM
BESIKTAS'S SECOND USA TOUR IN 1960
BESIKTAS F.C. BOARDING KLM IN 1960
Beşiktaş F.C., or with it's Turkish abbreviations BJK has been called the "Club of Firsts". It is the first established sports club in Turkey. It was founded in 1903 during the times of the Ottoman Empire as a Gymnastics Club. Some of the young patriots from the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul later formed two separate football (soccer) clubs called; "Valideçeşme" and "Basiret". In 1911the modern founder of Besiktaş, Şeref Bey merged the Valideçeşme and Basiret clubs together under a new name :Beşiktaş Ottoman Gymnastics Club. Soon football(soccer) was going to be the main sport and with the founding of the new Turkish Republic under the leadership of Kemal Atatürk, the name of the club was going to be changed to Beşiktaş. While the word "Ottoman" was omitted from the abbreviation, J.K. (Jimnastik Kulubu or Gymnastics Club) was kept.
During its history Besiktaş won several championships but more importantly hold several records in being the "first" in several such championships or events. First Istanbul League Champions (1923), First National League Champions 1960, only team with five year back to back Istanbul League Championships (1938-1942), first Super Cup champions (2003), the only club to be allowed with the Turkish Flag in it's emblem, are few of many of these "firsts".
Besiktaş was also the first Turkish team to be invited to the United States to play in International tournaments. First in May of 1950 and then for a second time in 1960. Both teams represented Turkey as the champions of the respective years. It was only in 1990 when another Turkish team, Galatasaray who had won the UEFA Cup Championship was invited to play in the United States.
USA 1-ENGLAND 0. WORLD CUP 1950
SIR STANLEY MATHEWS
I came to the United States in 1972 for post graduate studies at the Penn State University. Legendary Football Coach Joe Patterno was in his seventh season as the Head Coach at the University and while the Nittany Lions were to beat LSU in Orange Bowl, John Capeletti was going to win the Heisman trophy that year. For a foreign student baseball seemed to be boring but American Football was very exciting. But we still missed soccer and in addition to going to football games on Saturday's , most of foreign students frequented the soccer fields on Friday's or weekdays.
"Soccer" was what we called "football "back home and it seemed to us as exiting in the University Park as it was in Dolmabahçe, since there was no showing of this sport on T.V. at all. I was instantly impressed with the quality of the 1972 Penn State team. They were a very physical team who loved to bombard their opponents from out side the 18 yard line.To this day I still remember how they beat a Brazilian College team 3-0 and tied the English team 2-2. Leaving the soccer field that day, I thought that the PennState team could easily play in the Turkish League. Back home, probably most soccer fans would have smiled at this thought, but they would not know, that these were the years were soccer in the United States was finally emerging.
In 1972 Penn State soccer team had two brothers who were excellent players; Matt and Chris Bahr. Both of them were to play in the coming years in the NFL as place kickers and in the NASL as soccer players. The coach of the Penn State soccer team was a guy named : Walter Bahr. He was the father of the two brothers and was once the legendary captain of the United States All Star soccer team and a hall of fame inductee. In the 1950 World Cup his team had beaten England in Brazil 1-0. One of the biggest upsets of football history against the team of another legendary captain Sir Stanley Mathews.
Years later, I am thinking now; no wonder the Penn State team was so good then and now.* Because they had the football tradition and their coach was once the captain of the famous All Star Team of 1950. And my favorite team in Turkey, Besiktaş had played the All Star team and won so impressively when I was only three years old. And then I remember watching Sir Stanley Mathews when I was in High School , Stock City playing Besiktaş in Istanbul. Stanley Mathews played only one half of the game. He was 46 at the time, and he was not going to retire until he had turn 50. Beşiktas won 1-0 that day in Dolmabahçe (AKA Inönü).
March 22, 2010
*The present coach of Penn State is an old Irish Football player ; Barry Gorman, who is coaching Penn State last twentytwo years. The Penn State team has been "Big Ten"champions on numerous occasions during these years, and the soccer tradition continues. I consider Barry , a good friend who always brings the young Nittany Lions to my restaurant every year when they play Ohio State Team in Columbus.