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 Kenny Hanson- President, Sons of Ben #2

With less than 24 hours to go before the 2015 Philadelphia Union season kicks off, we would like to reflect on what was a very positive 2014 for the Sons of Ben.

2014 was a very strong year both in the stadium and in the community for the Sons of Ben.  On the evening of September 16th, 2014 we witnessed the first U.S. Open Cup final held at PPL Park.  The passion and noise radiating from PPL rivaled anything the MLS has ever seen. While the outcome was not what we were all dreaming for, our boys in blue fought hard and left everything they had out on the field.  Within 24 hours of the match ending, we were receiving emails from all over the world about the environment at PPL.  An email from the leadership of the Seattle Sounders supporter group the Emerald City Supporters said, "You guys have really built something special in Philly, you should be very proud". While another email from close to home stated "I have season tickets to the Eagles and the Phillies, tonight I brought my son to his first ever MLS match and it was the greatest sports night of our entire lives".  The sentiments of those statements are a direct reflection of your support and loyalty to this team...Ad Finem Fidelis.

In 2014, the Sons of Ben had a record breaking year in charitable givings and support for our local community.  We raised over $50,000 last year to help our local community, the organizations we partnered with include:  The Bernadine Center, Unified Soccer Philly - Special Olympics, FORCE, the Philadelphia Foundation, St. Baldricks, Chester Elk Lodge, William Trippley Youth Development Foundation, Junior Lone Star Football, Keystone Wounded Warriors, Delaware County SPCA, ACCT Philadelphia, Camden Youth Soccer among several others. This was only attainable because of YOU. Our members are who make the organization great in every aspect and we thank you for your generosity.

As we prepare for tomorrow, we are full of many emotions: happiness, excitement, anxiousness, nervousness, among many others.  Tomorrow we start a new era of game day experiences in the newly designated SoB Lot with a building that will be the center for the organization for years to come.  Tailgates have undergone a transformation that foster inclusion as our top priority!  The Sons of Ben Rowdy Style Ale will be brewed again this year, our agreements and partnerships continue to grow with like-minded organizations and the U.S world premiere of the Sons of Ben movie on June 10th will be one of the largest events in our history!  

The 2015 season is here and it is going to be a hell of a ride.  We are going to make mistakes along the way, we aren't flawless.  We encourage you to provide us feedback and get involved where and when you can.  We are all in this together.  We will share in our victories and defeats together, our successes and our failures, our times of strength and our times of weakness.  No matter what, we will go through it together...tomorrow, let's be great together! 

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