Sons of Ben eye Philly home opener

Union fan group ready to defend its turf on April 10

Union fans

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For the Sons of Ben, it seemed to take forever for the Philadelphia Union to get on the field. The foremost Union supporters club has been around for three years promoting soccer in the region—and now that it finally has a team, things couldn’t be better.

Nearly 100 of the group made the trip west to Seattle for First Kick 2010, all of whom were passionately behind their club as it took the field for the first time.

“I was a little surprised by the lineup Nowak put out there, but overall I was just elated to see my team playing their first game,” said Sons of Ben marketing director Brad Youtz, one of the SoBs who made it to the Pacific Northwest. “To be honest, it was a little unreal. For three years the team has been nothing more than an idea, and then faces on the website and finally a team on the field. Indescribable.

Corey Furlan, the group’s matchday coordinator, echoed Youtz’ sentiment, though he’d have preferred it if more Union fans were there to even out the numbers.

“The atmosphere out there was pretty cool, but a little too green for my liking,” said Furlan of what it was like to be at Qwest Field. “I had goose bumps watching the Union walk out on the field for the first time.”

He won’t have to wait too long before he gets to see the Union play on home soil as the team’s home opener is scheduled for April 10 against regional rivals D.C. United. Only a two-hour drive separates the two cities and as far as sports are concerned, they couldn’t be bigger adversaries. The soccer teams may have never played each other, but they're certainly gearing up for a dogfight at Lincoln Financial Field.

With only 10 days remaining before match, Furlan is ready for big things from his fellow Philadelphians.

“The home opener is going to be absolutely electric,” said Furlan of what he’s expecting it to be like at the match. “We are going to have all of us there and will actually be able to give our boys a home field advantage. I saw the team play once, but it still doesn’t feel real. To see them play here at home will change that.”

The team is expecting huge numbers for the match, with somewhere in the neighborhood of 30,000 being an attainable number. The difference this time for Furlan, Youtz & Co. is that instead of a mere 100 Union supporters singing with them, it will be every soccer fan in the city of Philadelphia.

Hope you’re ready, D.C.