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.

Steven Wells Says Goodbye

Long-time SoB chronicler Steven Wells died Tuesday after a battle with cancer. While many people have helped us fly the SoB kite higher and higher these last few years, he was the person that threw it up in the air. He wrote about us in Philadelphia Weekly, FourFourTwo, and The Guardian…apart from a small little blurb in Sports Illustrated he was the source of all our solid media credits for months. He was at our first tailgate – he took the well-known picture of all of us there. He saw what we were really doing and what we were capable of doing before any of us did, I think. He gave us relevance. Apart from what he did for us he was an amazing writer as well…he had the most unique voice in his pieces, and possessed an incredible ability to weave a story. He championed American soccer to his English countrymen, because he’s seen what’s been going on here (especially in the stands) and loved it. He was the person I was looking most forward to seeing at the first game next year; I envisioned handing him another can of Phoenix Pale Ale at our second “first tailgate” in 2010. He is going to be missed.

His final article: http://www.philadelphiaweekly.com/news-and-opinion/in-extremis/Steven-Wells-Says-Goodbye-49054426.html

Articles about the SoBs, the Union and American supporters culture: http://www.philadelphiaweekly.com/arts-and-culture/a-list-38425559.html (our second tailgate) http://www.philadelphiaweekly.com/news-and-opinion/cover-story/38465969.html (our huge 2008 cover story) http://www.philadelphiaweekly.com/news-and-opinion/in-extremis/Root-for-That-Union-Label-44740457.html (covering the Union announcement) http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2008/feb/20/sport.comment1 (right before the franchise awarding) http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2008/mar/13/ussport.football (right after the franchise awarding) http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2007/jun/06/sport.comment (about the growth of supporter culture in the US) http://www.leaguelineup.com/sonsofben/images/FourFourTwo_June07.jpg (scan of the FourFourTwo article)

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