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.

River Cup Update: Rosters announced for July 15 charity match

Son's of Ben Challenge Philadelphia Union Owners and Staff
in Annual River Cup Charity Match

CHESTER, Pa. – Philadelphia Union and the Sons of Ben, the club’s supporters group, released today their official rosters for the inaugural River Cup that will take place at PPL Park on July 15. The charity event will feature some of the Union’s ownership including Jay Sugarman (Chairman), Nick Sakiewicz (CEO & Operating Partner) and Rob Buccini (investor) as well as executives and technical staff including Peter Nowak (Team Manager/Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations), John Hackworth (Coach), Rob Vartughian (Assistant Coach/Goalkeeper Coordinator) and Brendan Burke (Reserve Team Head Coach and Assistant Youth Director).

Featured on the Sons of Ben roster are a total of 23 players, including some very high-ranking officials within the organization. In all, six of the nine SoB elders will play in the match, as Matt Ansbro (President) and Corey Furlan (Vice President) will suit up alongside fellow elders Mark Dunfee, Brad Youtz and Mike Naioti.

Two more notable inclusions to the roster are Dave Flagler, an Elder Emeritus who is one of the three Co-Founders of the Sons of Ben, and Kerith Gabriel, a journalist for the Philadelphia Daily News.

A unique match that puts team management and a passionate supporters group on the same field, the River Cup embodies the positive relationship that the Philadelphia Union have with the Sons of Ben. Consisting of two 30-minute halves to determine a winner, the final result will be settled by penalty kicks if the scores are tied at the end of regulation.

Fans supporting the teams will be able to purchase tickets for $10 apiece at the PPL Park box office. All proceeds generated from the sale of tickets will go directly to Chester City United, the City of Chester’s own club soccer team. Consisting of various youth organizations, Chester City United (chestercityunited.org) is committed to providing a positive social outlet for the area’s youth. Chester City United will get the opportunity to display its talents on the field as well, as players in the club will play two short matches during halftime.

As an added bonus, the Jay and Kelly Sugarman Foundation, through Philadelphia Union Chairman/Owner Jay Sugarman, will donate $1,000 to Chester City United for each goal scored (up to ten) during the charity match. (For those interested in more information regarding donation opportunities please email operations@philadelphiaunion.com.)

All fans are being asked to park in Lot B and enter through the Supporter’s Gate on July 15.

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