Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Sons of Ben turn out in force for SuperDraft
by Ridge Mahoney, January 14th, 2010 1:46PM
Subscribe to Soccer America Confidential

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

Corey Furlan couldn't contain his excitement upon hearing the expansion Philadelphia Union had made yet another trade.

"That gives us three picks in the first round: No. 1, No. 6, and No. 7," he said Thursday morning as the Sons of Ben supporters' group laid in their preparations for the MLS SuperDraft at McGillen's Old Ale House, which opened for them at 9 a.m., five hours before the start of the show. "That tells you a lot about this team. They're already going for it."

Philadelphia acquired the No. 6 pick by sending allocation money to FC Dallas after it had swapped allocation places with D.C. United, in exchange for midfielder Fred, United's first-round pick, and allocation money.

Furlan, a drug and alcohol counselor, proclaimed he's been sober for five years amid  more than 100 fans clad in Union scarves and shirts, many of them clutching pints of beer. He is the game-day coordinator/capo for the Sons of Ben, and his first official function will be to manage

the chants and cheers for Union supporters who will crowd into the Pennsylvania Convention Center Ballroom to observe the draft's activities, cheer the Union's selection, and perhaps get a head start in their rivalry with fans of D.C. United and Red Bull New York, who are coming into town.

"Philadelphia fans get a bad rap, that they're too negative," says Furlan, who along with about 50 other Union fans have bought tickets to the team's first match, March 25 in Seattle. "We're going to show people around the league that Philly has the best fans in the country and can support a soccer team."

About 100 D.C. fans signed up to take a team-sponsored bus to the draft, and as of Thursday morning, the team had received 58 confirmations. The Red Bulls are expected to have a contingent about the same size.

"We'll be chanting, we'll be cheering, we'll be in full voice giving everyone an idea of what they can expect once the season starts," added Furlan.

Union fans have been hearing the team's first match in its new stadium will be on July 4. It will play at least two "home" games at Lincoln Financial Field, and from six to eight n the road before MLS takes a two-week break for the first round of the World Cup in mid-June.

"I pass by it every day on the train on my way to work," says Sons of Ben co-founder and president Bryan James of the Chester, Pa., site on which the team is building a 18,500-capacity stadium that will include a special section and private entrance for the group.

"As hard as it's going to be to wait, it's going to be great. We want to make it the best stadium in the league."

He looked around the pub, where three years ago he helped found the Sons of Ben, and said, "Look at all these people and it's 11 o'clock in the morning on a week day. What a great group of crazies."

Added Furlan, "This sport is light years from where it was in the days of the [NASL] Atoms and Fury. It's definitely on the way up, and deserves to be supported along with the Phillies and Flyers and Eagles and the other teams. We'll show that Philly is soccer town as well."

About 40 minutes before the start of the draft, shouts and chants and cheers of "Union!" rang through the ballroom. Chants of "We all hate the Red Bulls!" and "Phil-a-del-phia!" followed.

The Sons of Ben had arrived.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Confidential
Soccer America's Copa Centenario Best XI    
They went undefeated except against each other, so it's natural that players from champion Chile and ...
Is Klinsmann worthy of a remarkably long tenure?    
Next month marks the fifth anniversary of Jurgen Klinsmann's tenure as USA head coach.
If the song remains the same, how can it be rewritten?    
Thumped by Argentina in a Copa America Centenario semifinal, the U.S. will nonetheless take positives from ...
Stepping on toes? That's not the solution to improving U.S. soccer    
Do you wonder what kind of advice Jurgen Klinsmann was giving his players during their loss ...
USA reaps benefits of South American opposition    
Reaching a Copa America Centenario semifinal against Argentina to be played on Tuesday is being hailed ...
USA has reason to celebrate but suspensions sure take edge off big win    
First, the good news from Thursday night in Seattle. The USA's 2-1 victory over Ecuador, which ...
Centenario group phase serves up plenty of spectacle, drama, and controversy    
When big teams like Brazil and Uruguay fell prone to lapses, other nations took advantage to ...
Guzan seizes chance for No. 1 shirt    
Seven straight games including all three at the Centenario have featured Brad Guzan in goal; he ...
Berliner John Brooks takes charge of USA's defense    
Just three years ago, John Brooks, born and raised in Berlin but the son of a ...
USA's 'musts' for Paraguay game if it isn't 'must-win'    
The Copa America Centenario results to date are mirror images of what occurred in March, when ...
>> Soccer America Confidential Archives