A city spurned. A dream born. A brotherhood forged. This is the story of the Sons of Ben.


About the Sons of Ben

North America's Major League Soccer played its inaugural season in 1996 and although Philadelphia was a top ten market with storied sports franchises, it was not awarded a team.

Ten long years later, it still didn't have a team, so a small group of die-hard Philadelphia soccer fans took matters into their own hands and did something crazy: they formed a supporters club for a team that didn't exist. Naming their group after famous Philadelphian Benjamin Franklin, they called themselves the Sons of Ben. They had one goal – bring professional soccer to Philadelphia.

Setting themselves the modest goal of expanding to 100 members by the end of one year, they tapped into a wellspring of local soccer fanatics and soon had 1,500 drum-banging, song-singing followers. Together, these Sons of Ben started a movement that brought into existence the Philadelphia Union, changing the soccer landscape in Philadelphia forever, and also helped revive a struggling community abandoned by government, business, and its neighbors.

This is the story of the Sons of Ben.

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