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Some videos of the Union-UNC Tarheels match

February 15, 2010 4 comments

Missed the game in North Carolina like me? Wondering what PPL Park is going to sound like this year? Just take a look at the following vids:

The Union line-up:

Read more…

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Flashback–February 2008–The Guardian’s Steven Wells duly impressed by team-less Philadelphia fans

December 8, 2009 Leave a comment

In 2008 I was living in China and trying to follow MLS as well as I could. Not only did I have a poor internet connection, which made watching live feeds near impossible, I also didn’t have a team to support. Philadelphia was always my sports city of choice but lacked a team; I had lived in Boston for six years, so of course I couldn’t support a Foxboro-based faux “New England” team; MLS was never going to bring the Rochester Rhinos into the league; and there was no way in hell I’d ever support a team out of New Jersey that pretended to be from New York.

Then along came Steven Wells’ article about the Sons of Ben in The Guardian. I’d heard a great deal about the Sons of Ben in the past, but never fully understood what a bizarre collection of passionate, eternally hopeful, deeply reviled nutcases they were. So it goes without saying that the article cemented my admiration for the SoBs and Philadelphia soccerdom in general–so what if Philadelphia didn’t have a team? A fantasy Philly team is still better than any other real MLS team.

I imagine that a number of the paper’s English readers that day also developed a firm Philadelphia allegiance:

These are the Sons of Ben. They are the hardcore supporters of Philadelphia’s Major League Soccer team. Possibly their best chant is: “We’ve won as many cups as you, Metro, Metro. We’ve won as many cups as you, and we don’t have a team.”

Philadelphia doesn’t have an MLS team yet. As the DC United fan website screaming-eagles.com puts it, the Sons of Ben have “banded together to twist the Field of Dreams mantra from ‘Build it and they will come’ to ‘They’re already here, just build it’.”

As far as I am aware, the SoB are the only supporter’s club to ever be called a “headfuck” in the Guardian:

MLS fans already occupy a weird niche in the overwhelmingly docile and disconnected world of consumerist US sports fandom. Vibrant singing and chanting subcultures exist at many MLS clubs. And even – as in the case of the Portland Timbers – teams not even in the MLS. But even for these fans, the concept of a visiting crew who come to both abuse the locals and sing the merits of a team that doesn’t yet exist has been something of a headfuck.

And for more fun, the Bigsoccer.com thread linked to in the article:

I just wanted to make this posting at how horrible the Philadelphia fans (mind you they have no team) were at the game. They sat in the Revs supporter section and yet they were not cheering for the Revs. They kept on cheering for Philadelphia and the last I checked they do not have a team in the league. Also some of them were wearing orange shirts and took of their baby blue shirts to reveal them. This absolutely showed total disrespect and if they ever get the chance to get a team (I hope not for some time) I will make sure to re-pay them.

And the video of the Sons of Ben crashing the 2007 MLS cup: