Sons of Ben

The Sons of Ben is a 501(c) (3) Pennsylvania based non-profit, membership organization.

The Sons of Ben, founded in January 2007, exists to support and develop the Delaware Valley soccer community. Through active, grassroots support, the Sons of Ben helped establish the momentum leading to the creation of the Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer (MLS) and the Philadelphia Independence of the Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) league. In forging a relationship with Chester City, Delaware County and Pennsylvania State political leaders along with Major League Soccer, the vocal support of the group directly influenced the decision to award Philadelphia with an MLS franchise.

The Sons of Ben have provided a social outlet for soccer supporters to share common interests and be part of a larger community of sports fans in the 4th largest American media market. The organization has grown to include over 5,000 members throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and around the world. The Sons of Ben have also grown to oversee the Delaware Valley Infantry, a US Soccer supporters group based in Philadelphia region, and the Daughters of Betsy, a Philadelphia Independence (WPS) supporters group.
Charitable and philanthropic efforts have been central to the Sons of Ben since its founding, as evidenced by annual initiatives supporting the Bernardine Center in Chester, PA through its Help Kick Hunger campaign and ongoing efforts to support various other organizations close to the Delaware Valley soccer community.

The coming months will start a new chapter in the organizations noteworthy story with many historical events marking the arrival of the Philadelphia Union, Philadelphia Independence and the Sons of Ben into the national spotlight.

A Word From Kelly Christine Delaney- Travel Director, Sons of Ben #2

Things have changed so much since I joined the board mid season in 2011, and yet things have stayed the same as well. I've been to so many games in different stadiums with so many amazing people. Is it challenging? Quite. Sometimes it's exhausting and quite challenging to ensure the trip goes well, but I still love dedicating my time and energy to helping my fellow Sons of Ben travel and support the Union across the country (and Canada, of course.)

This season presented a new challenge for me as I was gathering costs from various vendors for trips: what happens if all of this has to move? The CBA talks were something I followed quite closely and I know many of you did as well. Due to the CBA settlement happening so close to the beginning of the season, some teams weren't prepared to give costs on tickets or timelines. (At this moment, some teams still haven't settled their single game pricing - once they do, sales will start.) 

One of the biggest challenges for me every year is the bus trips. Deciding which locations to travel to, timing, food/beer partnerships....it can be a bit time consuming and frustrating. Do I want to please everyone? Of course! Is it possible? ....not so much. I try to make the trips accommodating to as many people as I can, as cost efficient as possible. Before anything goes on sale, I try to compare the costs and offerings to what a trip would cost if you drove yourself with a few friends - I try to make it at least $5 cheaper than it would be to drive yourself so that everyone can be together and have a good time. I know some people have met their closest friends, their significant others...in fact I know at least one person met their now spouse. (Congratulations on two years Kieran and Harmony!)

Another challenge is the extended road trip. It seems every year there's one trip that's a bit further away that gets a fair amount of people traveling. These trips are probably my favorite as there's more downtime to get to know my Sons of Ben family even better while discovering a city that's a bit further from home. From what I've heard, many people are planning to make Orlando a trip. I've been working on hotel room blocks as well as transportation and tailgating options. If you have an interest in going, please email me kelly.delaney@sonsofben.com

© copyright 2014, Sons of Ben.  Main image by Earl Gardner.