American Football Database
Philadelphia Soul
Current season
Established 2004
Play in Wells Fargo Center
in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
League/conference affiliations
Arena Football League (2004–present)
  • National Conference (2004–2008)
  • American Conference (2011–2016)
    • East Division (2004–2008, 2011–2015)
Team colorsLight blue, gray, white, black
MascotSoul Man
Owner(s)Trifecta Sports and Entertainment
General managerBeau Bell
Head coachClint Dolezel
Team history
* Philadelphia Soul (2004–present)
League championships (3)
  • 2008, 2016, 2017
  • Conference championships (4)
  • 2008, 2012, 2013, 2016
  • Division championships (4)
  • East: 2008, 2012, 2013, 2015
  • Playoff appearances (10)
    2006, 2007, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
    Home arena(s)
    *Spectrum (part-time, 2004–2008)
  • Wells Fargo Center (2004–2008, 2011–present)
  • Boardwalk Hall (Atlantic City, NJ, one game, 2015)
  • PPL Center (Allentown, PA, late season 2016)
  • The Philadelphia Soul are a professional arena football team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They compete in the Arena Football League (AFL). The Soul have made five ArenaBowl appearances, winning their first appearance (2008 against the San Jose SaberCats) and losing their next two appearances (2012 and 2013 both to the Arizona Rattlers). The Soul won in their fourth appearance, against the Rattlers in 2016, winning 56–42. They also won in their fifth appearance in 2017 against the Tampa Bay Storm, winning 44–40.

    The club was established in 2004 when a group, led by Jon Bon Jovi, secured the rights to an AFL franchise in Philadelphia. The AFL folded before the proposed 2009 season was to begin, but was purchased and revived in 2010. After two seasons of inactivity in 2009 and 2010, the Soul returned in 2011 headed by Ron Jaworski.


    Jon Bon Jovi era (2004–2008)

    The team was owned by co-majority owners Jon Bon Jovi and Craig Spencer along with minority owners Richie Sambora, Ron "Jaws" Jaworski (former QB of the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles) and Leo Carlin, Jr. The Soul began play in February 2004, and played its home games at the Wells Fargo Center (then known as the Wachovia Center), home of the Philadelphia Flyers of the NHL and the Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA. When there was a scheduling conflict with the NBA or NHL, games were played at the now-demolished Wachovia Spectrum—the former home of the Flyers, 76ers, Philadelphia Phantoms AHL hockey team and the Philadelphia KiXX MISL soccer franchise. The Soul played in the Eastern Division of the National Conference of the AFL. The name "Soul" referred to the Philadelphia soul music genre, a play on Bon Jovi's career as a musician (Bon Jovi's style of pop rock, however, bore no resemblance to the genre of music known as Philadelphia soul). The official mascot of the Soul was the Blues Brother-like "Soul Man".[1]

    In 2005, the Soul began the season by beating the Austin Wranglers 66–35. However, after five games, the Soul had two wins and three losses, which led to the firing of head coach Michael Trigg.

    The Soul made Tony Graziani the highest-paid player in Arena League history. The move left them with little money under the salary cap to improve their defense, and as a result, they were not in competition for the playoffs. The elimination came even after NBC scheduled 14 games of the Soul to be shown on national or regional television.

    In 2006, the Soul began 2–0. They went 2–0 against division rival Dallas Desperados (who finished a league best 13–3), and finished the season at 9–7 and earned their first playoff berth through the wild card. In their wild card playoff game, the Soul defeated the Austin Wranglers in Austin, 52–35. The score was 21–21 at halftime, but the #5 seed Soul outscored the #4 Wranglers 21–7 in the third quarter and ran away with the game. The Soul lost their Divisional Round Playoff game 31–27 to the Orlando Predators in the infamous "round of golf", so-called because viewers missed much of the 1st quarter of that game and another AFL game being broadcast simultaneously due to a PGA Golf tournament that was televised on NBC.

    The Soul started 4–0 in 2007 before losing to the Georgia Force, 57–49. Afterwards, they lost on a Monday night contest to their division rival, the Dallas Desperados, 51–41. In the game, Tony Graziani left the game early with a separated left shoulder from a sack by OL/DL Rickie Simpkins. He would miss the next four weeks, all losses, dropping the team to 4–6. Graziani returned in week 12 against the New Orleans VooDoo and led the team to its highest scoring output in its short franchise history, winning 78–34. In a Week 16 "win-and-in" matchup with the Columbus Destroyers, Graziani led the Soul down the field and threw a touchdown pass to Charles Pauley with seven seconds left, giving the Soul a 56–53 win and their second trip to the playoffs in their four-year history. In the playoffs, they defeated the Orlando Predators 41–26, then traveled to Atlanta to take on the Georgia Force in the Divisional Round, but lost 65–39.

    In 2008, the Soul signed WR Chris Jackson in the off-season. He was united with a former teammate in Tony Graziani. In the offseason the Soul were picked by many as the favorite to win the championship. However, after another good start, once again Graziani was injured. He was replaced by Matt D'Orazio. Unlike previous years, in 2008 the Soul backup was able to keep the team going. He played well enough that when Graziani was healthy once more, the coaching staff decided to allow D'Orazio to keep the starting job. The Soul finished the 2008 season with a 13–3 record and earned a first-round bye. In the divisional round the Soul defeated the New York Dragons. In the conference finals the Soul were able to defeat the Cleveland Gladiators to earn their first berth to the ArenaBowl. They then won their first ArenaBowl on Sunday, July 27, 2008 in a 59–56 win over the San Jose SaberCats in ArenaBowl XXII.

    The team suspended operations along with the rest of the Arena Football League in 2009. Bon Jovi would then form another ownership group with members of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment five years later seeking to purchase the National Football League's Buffalo Bills; the Bon Jovi consortium was outbid by Terry and Kim Pegula.

    Ron Jaworski era (2011–present)

    On February 17, 2010, the Arena Football League extended an offer to the Soul to make a return to arena football.[2][3] That offer was accepted, as the Soul returned in 2011 playing all their home games at the then-recently renamed Wells Fargo Center. Jaworski and Spencer returned from the prior ownership group, and Pete Ciarrocchi (owner of local sports bar Chickie's and Pete's) and Cosmo DeNicola (who was the owner of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers from the now-defunct af2 league) joined the new Soul's ownership. Notably absent was Jon Bon Jovi, who cited his group's tour as a reason for declining ownership, but still maintains his support for the Soul and their new ownership.[4][5] The team hired future Arena Football Hall of Famer, Mike Hohensee, to lead the revived team.[6] Despite high expectations, the Soul stumbled out of the gate and never recovered, finishing just 6–12, last place in the East.

    In 2012, the Soul began the season with new head coach Doug Plank. They finished the regular season with the league's best record at 15–3. They would advance to ArenaBowl XXV, but lost to the Arizona Rattlers 72–54. Less than a week later, Plank announced his resignation.[7]

    In 2013, the Soul hired offensive coordinator, Clint Dolezel, to succeed Plank.[8] Dolezel's familiarity with many of the Soul players made it easy for the team to maintain success through the 2013 season. The Soul finished the regular season 12-6, winning the Eastern Division for a second season in a row.[9] Dolezel would lead the Soul back to ArenaBowl XXVI, but the team once again fell to the Rattlers 48-39.[10]

    In September 2014, New Orleans Saints wide receiver Marques Colston bought a share of the team; Jaworski remained the majority owner.[11] In August 2015, additional pieces of the team were sold to Colston's Saints teammate, Philadelphia native Jahri Evans, and to former Eagles coach Dick Vermeil.[12]

    In 2016, the Soul finished the regular season with a 13-3 record, the best in the American Conference. In the playoffs, they first defeated the Tampa Bay Storm, then the Jacksonville Sharks, to claim the American Conference Championship. In ArenaBowl XXIX, they defeated the National Conference Champion Arizona Rattlers 56-42 to claim their second AFL Championship.

    Before 2017, the AFL contracted to five teams, and the conferences were abolished. In 2017, the Soul went 13–1. On August 12, 2017, the Soul defeated the Baltimore Brigade 69–54 to advance to their fifth ArenaBowl in ArenaBowl XXX on August 26, 2017, at Wells Fargo Center against the Tampa Bay Storm. In that game the Soul came back from an ArenaBowl record 13-point deficit to win 44-40 and repeat as AFL Champions.

    In March, 2017 the Philadelphia Soul signed a deal with Total Turf Experience in Mantua, New Jersey. The indoor practice facility became home to the Soul for its daily practices, team events, tryouts, combines, and clinics.[13][14]

    Franchise highlights

    One of the Philadelphia Soul's end zones

    • On Sunday, February 13, 2005, in a week-three home game against the Nashville Kats, quarterback Tony Graziani threw for six touchdowns, one of which came on a third-quarter play from their own five-yard line. Graziani got the snap, tripped over his own fullback's foot, and threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to OS Steve Smith off his own knee. The Soul won the game. It appeared on The Best Damn Sports Show Period's Top 50 Spectacular Plays.[15]
    • On Saturday, April 24, 2004, the Soul were trailing to the New York Dragons by a point with 1.3 seconds left in the fourth quarter. The Soul had the ball at their own two-yard line. Ken Hinsley kicked a field goal from the back of the endzone which just barely made it over the crossbar as the buzzer went off, winning the game for the Soul, 60–58.[citation needed]
    • Since its inception, the Philadelphia Soul has been deeply involved in the community. In 2006, The Philadelphia Soul Foundation was formed to further the organization's commitment to the Philadelphia area. Former President Bill Clinton joined Soul majority owner Jon Bon Jovi on stage to announce a project that would rehab 15 townhouses in North Philadelphia. Scheduled to open in November 2007, the homes will also be eco-friendly, not only saving money for its new tenants, but improving the environment as well.[needs update]
    • On Saturday, July 12, 2008, the Philadelphia Soul defeated the Cleveland Gladiators 70–35 in the AFL National Conference Title game, earning their first ArenaBowl berth in ArenaBowl XXII.
    • On Sunday, July 27, 2008, the Philadelphia Soul defeated the San Jose SaberCats in ArenaBowl XXII, 59–56, capturing their first ArenaBowl championship.
    • On August 26, 2016, the Soul defeated the Arizona Rattlers in ArenaBowl XXIX, 56-42, to win their second championship in franchise history after two previous unsuccessful attempts against the Rattlers. Their final regular-season home game and two playoff games were moved to the PPL Center in nearby Allentown, Pennsylvania, as the Wells Fargo Center hosted the Democratic National Convention weeks earlier.
    • On Saturday, August 26, 2017, the Soul won their third AFL title by defeating the Tampa Bay Storm in ArenaBowl XXX, 44–40 at Wells Fargo Center, to win back-to back AFL championships.

    Season-by-season records



    The Soul and Pittsburgh Power were both located in Pennsylvania. The Power began play in 2011, and both the Power and Soul were placed in the now-defunct East Division.[16] As members of the East Division, the Soul and Power met twice a year, with each team hosting one home game. The series was tied 4-4 by the end of the 2014 season. The Power franchise folded in the 2014-15 off season due to poor attendance numbers, and many of the Power's key franchise players signed with the Soul when Pittsburgh folded.


    The Dallas Desperados were one of the Soul's biggest rivals. This rivalry originally spurred from the rivalry of the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys, but made its way indoors with the Soul and Desperados battling for Eastern Division titles.[17] The Soul lost the first game in this rivalry 51-47 on February 15, 2004. The all-time series ended tied at 5-5 at the demise of the Desperados franchise.


    Though originally not as important as the rivalries with the Power and Desperados, the Cleveland Gladiators would soon become the Soul's biggest rival. The rivalry started in 2008 when the Gladiators moved from Las Vegas to Cleveland, moving them into the same division as the Soul.[18] In their first ever meeting, the Gladiators defeated the Soul 63-35. For the 2017 season, the AFL abolished the conferences, and the Soul and Gladiators played four games against one another, with Philadelphia winning all four. The Gladiators announced that they would not play the 2018 or 2019 seasons due to renovations on Quicken Loans Arena that will require it to close during the basketball off-season.


    The rivalry between the Soul and the Jacksonville Sharks truly began in 2012, the Sharks' defending ArenaBowl championship season and just their second year in the league. Philadelphia hosted the defending champions in the American Conference championship, which the Soul ran away with 89-34 to advance to the ArenaBowl. The following season, the Sharks would finish with the highest record in the conference and would host the Soul in the conference championship, which the Soul would win again, this time 75-59. In the 2015 off season, Soul legends Derrick Ross, Tiger Jones and Jason Holman left the Soul and signed with Jacksonville, and when the Sharks returned to Philadelphia for their third conference championship match up in four seasons, Jacksonville finally overcame the Soul 61-56 to advance to the ArenaBowl. In the 2016 AFL playoffs, the Soul got revenge, defeating the Sharks in the American Conference Championship game, advancing to ArenaBowl XXIX. The Jacksonville Sharks left the AFL for the National Arena League after the 2016 season, ending the Soul-Sharks rivalry.

    Popular culture

    The Soul logo appeared on a 2008 episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia entitled "Dennis Reynolds: An Erotic Life". Actress Lisa LoCicero played the role of a "representative" of the team.

    Colt Bennett also wore a Soul T-shirt in season 1 episode 4 of The Ranch.

    On a Season 5 punishment of Impractical Jokers, Joe Gatto has to shoot his own clothes into the crowd at a Soul game.[19]

    Logo and uniforms

    The Soul logo is a music note with a white football inside. Their original home jersey was a dark grey, and the road jersey was white. After experimenting with white and silver helmets during the 2004 Preseason, they adopted a dark grey helmet. In 2008, they introduced a blue alternate jersey PHL on the chest and grey pants. The blue jersey was worn throughout the entire 2008 playoffs, including ArenaBowl XXII. However, the blue jerseys did not return when the Soul returned in 2011. On March 13, 2012, the Soul unveiled a modified version of their blue jerseys to become their new home jerseys and matching white road jerseys, as well as a powder blue helmet for their road uniforms. For 2016 and 2017, they reverted to grey home jerseys. Prior to the start of the 2019 season, the AFL partnered with Phenom Elite to provide uniforms for the league. Their jerseys would be blue with an enlarged black logo across the chest and back.

    Notable players

    File:Soul vs Valor (2017) (2).jpg

    The Soul in 2017

    Current roster

    Philadelphia Soul rosterview · talk · edit


    • 33 Damian Walker

    Wide Receivers

    Offensive Linemen
    • 55 Nyere Aumaitre
    • 68 Robbie Powell
    • 90 Ty Nsekhe
    • 91 Darnell Whitley OL/DL

    Defensive Linemen

    • 6 Brandon Perkins
    • 23 DeJuan Alfonzo WR/LB
    • 27 Jerome Hayes

    Defensive Backs


    Injured Reserve
    • 20 Tanner Varner DB
    • 72 Rob McMackin

    Exempt List

    Roster updated June 14, 2011
    24 Active, 4 Inactive

    More rosters

    Arena Football League Hall of Famers

    Philadelphia Soul Hall of Famers
    No. Name Year Inducted Position(s) Years w/ Soul
    -- Clint Dolezel 2012 Head Coach 2013–present
    -- Mike Hohensee 2012 Head Coach 2011

    Individual awards

    Offensive Player of the Year
    Season Player Position
    2008 Chris Jackson WR
    2015 Dan Raudabaugh QB

    Quarterback of the Year
    Season Player Position
    2008 Matt D'Orazio QB

    Al Lucas Hero Award
    Season Player Position
    2008 Mike Brown DB

    ArenaBowl MVP
    ArenaBowl Player Position
    XXII Matt D'Orazio QB

    Ironman of the Year Award
    Season Player Position
    2012 Jeff Hughley WR/KR

    Defensive Back of the Year
    Season Player Position
    2012 Kent Richardson DB
    2017 Dwayne Hollis DB

    Offensive Lineman of the Year
    Year Player Position
    2015 Shannon Breen OL
    2017 Wayne Tribue OL

    AFL Most Valuable Player
    Year Player Position
    2015 Dan Raudabaugh QB

    Kicker of the Year
    Year Player Position
    2015 Tommy Frevert K
    2016 Tommy Frevert K
    2017 Adrian Trevino K

    Defensive Lineman of the Year
    Year Player Position
    2016 Jake Metz DL

    Defensive Player of the Year
    Season Player Position
    2016 Tracy Belton DB[20]
    2017 Beau Bell LB

    All-Arena players

    The following Soul players have been named to All-Arena Teams:

    All-Ironman players

    The following Soul players have been named to All-Ironman Teams:

    All-Rookie players

    The following Soul players have been named to All-Rookie Teams:

    Notable coaches

    Head coaches

    Note: Statistics are correct through the 2017 Arena Football League season.

    Name Term Regular season Playoffs Awards
    W L T Win% W L
    Michael Trigg[21] 20042005 7 14 0 .333 0 0
    James Fuller[22] 2005 4 7 0 .364 0 0
    Bret Munsey[23] 20062008 30 18 0 .625 5 2
    Mike Hohensee[24] 2011 6 12 0 .333 0 0
    Doug Plank[25] 2012 15 3 0 .833 2 1
    Clint Dolezel[26] 2013–present 62 22 0 .738 8 3 Coach of the Year (2015, 2016)


    Philadelphia Soul staff
    Front Office
    • Majority Owner – Craig A. Spencer
    • Majority Owner – Ron Jaworski
    • Ownership Group – Pete Ciarrocchi
    • Ownership Group – Cosmo DeNicola
    • Ownership Group – Martin E. Judge
    • Ownership Group - Marques Colston
    • Ownership Group - Dick Vermeil
    • Ownership Group - Nicholas Giuffre
    • Ownership Group - Jahri Evans
    • Ownership Group - Philip Jaurigue
    • Ownership Group - Stewart Anmuth
    • Ownership Group - Gil Peter
    • Ownership Group - Hal Brunson
    • Vice President/COO – John Adams
    • General Manager – Phil Bogle
    • CIO – Greg Strickland

    Head Coach

    Offensive Coaches

    • Assistant Head Coach/Linemen – Phil Bogle
    • Assistant – Steve Criswell

    Defensive Coaches

    • Defensive Backs – Bernie Nowotarski

    See also

    File:Libertybell alone small.jpg Philadelphia portal
    • Sports in Philadelphia
    • Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame


    1. "SoulMan". Philadelphia Soul. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
    2. Feb. 17, 2010 Teleconference[dead link]
    3. news about arena league from
    4. "Philadelphia Soul return to AFL". June 15, 2010. Retrieved June 15, 2010.[dead link]
    5. Sean Leahy (June 15, 2010). "Ex-champion Philadelphia Soul returning to Arena Football League". (USA Today). Retrieved June 15, 2010.
    6. John George (August 31, 2010). "Philadelphia Soul hire new coach". American City Business Journals. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
    7. "Plank Resigns as Philadelphia Soul Head Coach". Philadelphia Soul. August 16, 2012. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
    8. Anthony Caruso III (August 17, 2012). "Soul in talks to hire Clint Dolezel as its new head coach". The Capital Sports Report. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
    9. "Soul win fourth straight, clinch East Division". Comcast Sportsnet Philly L.P.. June 29, 2013. Archived from the original on July 4, 2013. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
    10. Joe Williams (August 17, 2013). "ArenaBowl XXVI: Rattlers win 2nd Arena Football League title in row". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
    11. Barkowitz, Ed (October 1, 2014). "Saints WR Marques Colston buys share in Philadelphia Soul". Philadelphia Daily News. Retrieved 2014-10-02.
    12. "Dick Vermeil, Jahri Evans buy ownership stakes in Soul". Associated Press at Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia. August 20, 2015. Retrieved 2015-08-21.
    13. George, John (Mar 6, 2017). "Soul sign practice facility deal with South Jersey sports complex".
    15. "Graziani to Smith". Arena Football League.[dead link]
    16. Aaron Rieber (March 12, 2011). "Pittsburgh Power lose inaugural game to Philly in overtime". Pittsburgh Sports Report, Inc.. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
    17. "Indoors, Old Rivalry With a New Twist". The New York Times Company. April 27, 2008. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
    18. Jeff Schudel (August 7, 2013). "Rivalry renewed for Gladiators, Soul". The Morning Journal. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
    20. "Belton Awarded Riddell Defensive Player of the Year". OurSports Central. August 25, 2016. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
    21. "ArenaFan Online: AFL Coaches: Michael Trigg". ArenaFan. Retrieved October 24, 2008.
    22. "ArenaFan Online: AFL Coaches: James Fuller". ArenaFan. Retrieved October 25, 2008.
    23. "ArenaFan Online: AFL Coaches: Bret Munsey". ArenaFan. Retrieved October 25, 2008.
    24. "ArenaFan Online: AFL Coaches: Mike Hohensee". ArenaFan. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
    25. "ArenaFan Online: AFL Coaches: Doug Plank". ArenaFan. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
    26. "ArenaFan Online: AFL Coaches: Clint Dolezel". ArenaFan. Retrieved August 28, 2015.

    External links

    Template:ArenaBowl XXIX Template:ArenaBowl XXX