Philadelphia doesn’t have an MLS franchise as of this writing, but the Guardian’s Philly-based Steven Wells considers an expansion franchise in the City Of Brotherly Abuse Of Donovan McNabb pretty much a done deal. Fans in DC and East Rutherford have already had to contend with what Wells describes as “a visiting crew who come to both abuse the locals and sing the merits of a team that doesn’t yet exist”.

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 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’.”

But if Philly does get a franchise – and it’s looking increasingly likely that it will – then it’ll be down in large part to these fans who have all but willed a team into existence. In the meantime they’ve been practicing, in the words of the Philadelphia Inquirer, “by attending MLS games in New Jersey and Washington in order to boo those teams.”

The Sons attended the 2007 MLS Cup final causing consternation and not a little anger among fans of the teams who were actually playing.

At the MLS draft in January, MLS commissioner Don Garber revealed that either Philadelphia or St Louis would be the 16th MLS team, and that Philadelphia are in the lead.

This prompted DC United fans present at the draft to chant: “Pick St. Louis! Pick St. Louis!” DC aren’t particularly fond of the SOB. And in New York Red Bull fan chatrooms, the Sons are routinely dissed as “scum”, “infected douches”, “fucking retards”, “Philthadelphia” and “the Daughters of Betsy”.

Congrats to the embattled Rafael Benitez on Liverpool’s 2-0 first leg win over Inter Milan — even Kelvin Sampson thought Rafa was gonna get fired any day now.