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.

Poor Richard’s SoB Almanack 11.18.09

Ooh and ahh! It's a brand-new Almanack! Now with more glitz and glam, but with the same great content! Team jerseys announced! The team has released the jersey designs for the 2010 season. They go on sale along with a lot of other stuff (warmups, hoodies, etc.) on Friday. Here's a quick look at the home and away:

And a quick reference for those wondering the same thing many of us did - the "authentic" jersey is made of a lighter material, has most things (logos, etc.) screened on and any patches ironed on rather than sewn (to prevent discomfort to the players), and has a more "athletic" cut. The "replica" jersey has embroidered logos and a more "typical" fabric and cut.

MLS Cup is on Sunday The very last MLS match before the Union take the field is on Sunday when Los Angeles takes on Salt Lake from Seattle. The game will be on at 8:30 on ESPN. We'll have a couple of viewing parties for the match. Our flagship bar, the Dark Horse at 2nd and Lombard in Philadelphia will be showing the match, and we'll be collecting canned and non-perishable food for our Help Kick Hunger food drive (more about HKH further down). Trooper Thorn's on 451 Morgantown Rd. in Reading will have the match as well, along with drink specials, a representative from the Union, and there will be a raffle with a few cool prizes for anyone that brings a canned food donation to Help Kick Hunger. This promises to be a really good event for those that live too far out to make it into Philly regularly, and we're hoping to get more things started out that way.

The Expansion Draft The expansion draft will take place a week from today. This is the sort of thing that takes place with lists and conference calls, so there's no actual event centered around it, but stay tuned for news as we get our first group of players. Each of the 15 other MLS teams can protect a certain number of players on their roster and the Union can pick 1 player from each team that's unprotected.

Help Kick Hunger 2009 We're starting our 2009 charity drive, Help Kick Hunger, this weekend. The drive benefits the Bernardine Center, a sustainable food cupboard that focuses on education and empowerment to help break the cycle of poverty...a hand-up instead of a hand-down. The Bernardine Center is just a few blocks from the stadium site in Chester and is our main focus as we try to become good neighbors before we even move in. In addition to the aformentioned viewing parties in Reading and Philly on Sunday, we'll also be collecting at the fields during CASA recreational soccer matches Saturday, for anyone showing up or those on the teams (SoB teams play at 8:50 and 2:35, reply for more details). Look for the boxes between fields 1 and 2.

Stay tuned for more donation opportunities, and please reply if you want to help us in this very important task. Thank you!

One last thing - help support Philadelphia's bid to host World Cup matches if the USA is chosen in 2018 or 2022. Go to www.sonsofben.com/2009/09/philadelphia-world-cup-host/ to sign the petition. Mayor Nutter said ballot stuffing was perfectly acceptable...who are we to argue?

That's it for this 'nack! Look for another one soon with expansion draft news, more Help Kick Hunger information, and an event or two happening in December!

As always, reply with anything you need.

Ad Finem Fidelis

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