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.

Union Introduces Players to Philly; SoB Help Kick Hunger

It was an evening that was years in the making. We've all been to Tír na nÓg before for various occasions but this one was just a little different. This time, it was the Union. This time, it was the players. The first eleven. The Union Eleven. The pub was packed for the event with members of Sons of Ben as well as the general public. The event was scheduled to start at 6:30pm but the crowd was already in place well before hand. The press were there to get their standard quotes from the guests of honor but the players interaction with the fans was what everyone was looking forward to.

16450_199477242187_89209317187_2983065_4826144_nDuring the pre-event the Sons of Ben were collecting donations for the annual Help Kick Hunger campaign. Not that it was needed, Philly's always been generous with their giving to this effort, but an added incentive to donate this year was the chance to win an autographed authentic Philadelphia Union jersey signed by The Union Eleven. From the charity standpoint it was a massive success and was highlighted by the drawing for the jersey. The winner, Viggo Nightbay of Philly was the lucky winner.

The event started right on time with loud cheers, chants, and applause. We've spent so much time looking forward to these moments that it immediately sunk in and was summed up perfectly for one member: "@#$% we have a team!!". After a good laugh the Union brass got on with the program before the player introductions. Coach Nowak then took the mike and really got the crowd going. Starting with Keep Chris Seitz, Nowak went introduced all the players to the city with each receiving a very loud reception.

Alejandro Moreno drew the task of addressing the crowd for the players. Keeping it short and simple he said exactly what we all knew already. It's our team. They'll play hard every game. They'll do everything they can to win and bring a championship to Philly. It's what we expected but he could of said anything and we would have eaten it up. It didn't matter. We were there for our guys. Our players. Our team.

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