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When New York heads to Philadelphia on June 23rd, there will be two must see matches going on. The first takes place on the pitch between the Red Bulls and the Union. The second, between the fans of each soccer club in the stands at PPL Park. The Union and Red Bulls are known for their strong followings as the Sons of Ben and the Empire Supporters Club are two of the most enthusiastic and loyal fan groups in all of MLS. On Sunday, they’ll be going head to head when it comes to chants, cheers and crowd participation.
Here is a Preview of the Matchup between the Fans:
The Sons of Ben –
MLS Team: Philadelphia Union
The Sons of Ben are credited with bringing MLS to Philadelphia, having formed prior to their team’s existence in order to persuade the local government to bring a team to their city. They have a reserved section and a separate entrance at PPL Park, an excellent touch by the organization to show how important their diehard fans are to them. The SOB’s are known for their loud and creative cheers, as well as their philanthropic influence in the surrounding area of Chester, PA. Not only do the Sons of Ben live and breathe Union soccer, they live and breathe Philadelphia. If Jack McInerney (MLS’s Leading Scorer) finds the back of the net on Sunday, expect to hear the Sons of Ben going “mental” as they’re known to do.
Empire Supporters Club –
MLS Team: New York Red Bulls
The Empire Supporters Club is one of the longest running fan groups in the U.S., with their origin dating back to the days following the 1994 World Cup. Though the franchise has had multiple names and less success than they hoped for, their fan club has always been one of the most dominant in all of MLS. And now that their squad features the likes of Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill, they have a lot more to get excited about.
Be sure to tune in on Sunday June 23rd at 5:00PM ET on ESPN to see the New York Red Bulls take on the Philadelphia Union.