Sons of Ben take this year's River Cup but charitable efforts made it an all-around success

Bigger and better. That was this year's River Cup charity match

SoBs winning River Cup

Photo Credit: 
Greg Carroccio

No matter “Whose Side You Were On,” the true winner of the 2013 River Cup was the Philadelphia Union Foundation and the best supporters group in MLS, Sons of Ben.

Sunday’s match between the Union Staff and the Sons of Ben will raise in excess $35,000 for The Philadelphia Union Foundation, which supports programming in Chester and the Greater Philadelphia Region. It is a feat both teams are proud of.

“Although touted as a fundraiser and as I call it a fun-raiser, it was an opportunity to raise money and also drive awareness of the good work the Foundation is doing, from a very different perspective” ,said Rick Jacobs, vice president of business development and executive director of the Philadelphia Union Foundation.

The 3rd annual River Cup was held to raise money for the Philadelphia Union Foundation, an organization which strives to use soccer as a way of reinforcing the traditional family values of honesty, integrity, effort and accountability while always considering the Foundation’s Four Building Blocks: Building Safe Fields, Life Skills Programming, Good Health Through Proper Nutrition and Playing Soccer and Having Fun.

 “The organic support of the Sons of Ben, prior to us even having a logo and a place to play, is what makes them the best supporters in the MLS. [The River Cup] continues to connect us in ways that no other supporter group connects with their team,” said Jacobs. “They are also to be congratulated on a great match and a well deserved victory.”

While the Sons of Ben are dedicated to the Foundation’s mission, they also want to win.

And win they did. The game ended in a 3-1 victory for the Union’s faithful supporters. The Fall Festival included much more than a soccer match. Large inflatables, carnival games, face-painting, Touch-A-Truck and music were all included in this year’s event as part of a larger family fun experience on Toyota Plaza, adjacent to PPL Park.

“This year’s event was definitely the most thought out and well produced,” said Sons of Ben vice president Corey Furlan. “It was evident that a lot of planning has gone into making this event better year after year and it’s always such a privilege and a great experience to play on this field. For us to capture a win this year and take home the Cup, really put the experience over the top.”

And looking ahead to River Cup 2014 and efforts to make it bigger and better?

“What we need to keep figuring out is how to make the event, the game, and the festival even more relevant to a larger group of people….we are never satisfied with our success, said Jacobs.  In typical Union fashion, we are always looking for ways to be better.”