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.

From Stranger to Supporter: Joining the SOBs (Part 2)

It was Sun, Jan 3rd, and I had just spent my last ounce of hung-over energy in relocating myself from my couch to my desk and fired-up my laptop. Naturally, the first thing I did was to start trying to gather any news that the New Year brought regarding the Philadelphia Union. In the course of my browsing, I ended up on where I proceeded to read the Code of Conduct and information about joining probably at least 100 times. No matter how many times I read it and how much I wanted to follow through, my attention kept shifting focus to an article that I had just opened; the subject of the article: MLS Collective Bargaining Agreement Meetings, the outlook: bleak. I couldn’t believe it; as many times as I read the article, the words just refused to make sense to me. Here we were so close to the payoff… so close to having our own team, and it was all about to be for naught due to a labor dispute. To say I was dejected would have been an understatement. Over the next few days, I can’t tell you how many times I would browse to the TicketLeap website and start filling in the forms or to put a Union or SOB scarf in my cart on the retail sites. I could never allow myself to pull the trigger, though. The indecision was killing me.

Days then became weeks; weeks became months, and before I knew it, we were days away from what should be our inaugural game, and all indications were that it wouldn’t happen. Panic began to set in.

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