MLS Insider: Sons of Ben

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The Sons of Ben have become an important part of the Philadelphia soccer culture.

The group formed in 2007 and has evolved into one of the most passionate fan groups in MLS.

Being a part of the Sons of Ben is more than a trip to a soccer match – its a way of life.  The members cheer together, travel together, and most importantly help each other in times of need.

MLS Insider profiled the Philadelphia Union supporters group who have been around since 2007.

You can get more MLS Insider content and check out the latest features at the MLS Insider channel on

Sneak peek of MLS Insider which begins tonight on NBC Sports Network

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Finally, MLS fans have a television show solely dedicated to their beloved league.

“MLS Insider” a new show produced by Major League Soccer, will air on NBC Sports Network every Friday starting tonight.

Produced by Hock Films and led by award-winning filmmaker Jonathan Hock, it will air at 7:30 PM ET on NBC Sports Network and 2 PM ET on TSN Network in Canada.

Here is a preview of tonight’s show, a segment on Robbie Rogers:

Tonight’s show will also include segments on Tim Cahill and the Sons of Ben.

You can get more MLS Insider content and check out the latest features at the MLS Insider channel on

The head filmmaker Jonathan Hock has produced three 30-for-30 features for ESPN, including “Survive and Advance” on Jim Valvano’s 1983 NCAA tournament run with NC State, and “The Best That Never Was” about running back Marcus Dupree.

Philadelphia Union’s Son of Ben support Robbie Rogers


Remember a couple weeks back when we all felt so proud of our soccer supporter nation for proving to be a more modern and enlightened breed?

That was all about Robbie Rogers and about acceptance, about shrugging our collective shoulders and not making a big deal about people being the best version of themselves, not worrying about what that might be.

Well, props to the Philadelphia Union fans for taking things one step further. (And walking back some of those generalizations about Philly sports fans being such serious hard asses; we always knew you guys had a softer, more reasonable side!)

Before halftime of the club’s MLS season opener, the Sons of Ben honored Rogers during with a simple, moving display.  Fans in the River End held up “RR” signs in the 18th minute; Rogers, who recently retired way too early while coming out as gay, wore the number 18 during his long stay with the Columbus Crew.

Also related, and because we used his photo, check out Earl Gardner’s way-cool photo essay from The Philly Soccer Page on Saturday’s opener. (My favorite shot: this one)

USA Today picked up on the Rogers story and threw the Union supporters a little love.