Starting in the AFL (2004-2005)Edit
The Philadelphia Soul entered the AFL prior to the 2004 season as an expansion team, making their expectations with fans rather lackluster. This would reiterate with fans as the Soul debuted with a two game losing streak against another expansion team in the New Orleans VooDoo and the Dallas Desperados. The Soul went 1-1 in the next two weeks, bringing their overall record to 1-3. They would go on to win two straight against the Chicago Rush and Columbus Destroyers. They would lose the next two games against the Colorado Crush and Austin Wranglers. The Soul's skill improved as they went 2-1 in the next three weeks, giving them a record of 5-6 at the time, still hoping to have a chance of making the playoffs. The hope may have gotten to the team's head, as they finished off the 2004 season with a five game losing streak, missing the playoffs, with an overall record of 5-11 for the 2004 season.
After a lacking debut season, Philadelphia's fans were hungry for a winning season, and head coach Michael Trigg was working his team for just that. At first, it seemed his team responded, as the Soul went 2-1 in the first three weeks of the 2005 season. However, it wouldn't last as they suffered a four game losing streak by a combined 76 points. During that time span, head coach Michael Trigg was released as head coach of the Soul. The team brought in James Fuller to replace him. Trigg went 7-14 as head coach of the Philadelphia Soul. Under Fuller, after the four game losing streak, the Soul's losing ways had seemed to disappear, winning three straight games after their four game losing streak, bringing their record to 5-5. Unfortunately for the Soul, the losing ways came back to haunt the team as they went 1-3 in the next four weeks, only winning against the Orlando Predators in a slim 64-60 victory. The Soul would lose their last two games of the season, going 4-7 under head coach James Fuller, and putting their overall record for the 2005 regular season at 6-10. They would not make the playoffs.
Winning Ways (2006-2008)Edit
The Soul started the 2006 season by firing head coach James Fuller and replaced him with Bret Munsey. They would start off the regular season winning two straight against the Tampa Bay Storm and Los Angeles Avengers. They would then go 3-5 in the next eight weeks, putting their record at 5-5 midway through the season. They would go on to win two straight, including an overtime victory against the Chicago Rush to catapult their record to 7-5. They then lost two straight, bringing their record back to an even 7-7. Needing two victories to make the playoffs, the Soul were determined to make the playoffs for the first time in team history. They did just that as they defeated the Dallas Desperados and the Georgia Force in the last two weeks of the regular season, putting their overall record for 2006 at 9-7, their first winning season in team history. In the first round of the playoffs, the Philadelphia Soul not only made the playoffs for the first time, but one their very first playoff game as they defeated the Wranglers 52-35. With only two games away from Arena Bowl XX, the Soul were defeated by the Orlando Predators in the American Divisional Game.
To begin the 2007 season, the Philadelphia Soul went on to win their first four games, including a dominating season opener on the road against the Nashville Kats, concluding with a 63-30 score. The winning ways wouldn't last, as the Soul then dropped their next six games, including a game against the Columbus Destroyers where they put up a season-low 21 points, putting their record at 4-6. The Soul won their first game in almost two months in a home game against the New Orleans VooDoo, defeating them 78-34, to spark a 3-2 record over the next five weeks to put them at an overall record of 8-8, just enough to hoist them into the playoffs. Hosting the Orlando Predators in the first round of the playoffs, the Philadelphia defense held the Predator offense to just 26 points, beating them 41-26. In the same position they were in the previous year, the Soul were just two games away from Arena Bowl XXI. They would go on to lose to the Georgia Force, losing in the American Divisional Game for the second straight year.
If the Soul's four-game winning streak to start the 2007 season was impressive, their start to the 2008 season was unbelievable. The team won their first nine games to begin the 2008 season, including a 71-34 win against the Los Angeles Avengers. Their first loss would come to the Cleveland Gladiators on May 2nd, by a score of 55-67. They would go on to lose their next game against the team they had lost to in the playoffs the year before, the Georgia Force, by a single point. The Soul would finish the season with a record of 13-3, a franchise best at the time. Their first playoff opponent came in the form of the New York Dragons, whom the Soul had defeated handily during the regular season. This game would come down to the final minute, however, as the Soul barely managed a 49-48 win at home. The next game wouldn't be as challenging, as the Soul defeated the Cleveland Gladiators, a team who had beaten Philadelphia in the regular season, 70-35, leading the Soul to their first Arena Bowl in franchise history. In a hard fought game against the San Jose Sabercats, the Philadelphia Soul came up victorious in a 59-56 victory, winning their first Arena Bowl in franchise history. They would become the last team to win an Arena Bowl title before the AFL's decision to suspend operations for the 2009 season.
When the AFL resumed operations after the year long shutdown, the Philadelphia Soul would resume operations a little more slowly than others by sitting out the 2010 season, eventually coming back for the start of the 2011 season. With a mostly depleted team, the Philadelphia Soul, who had won Arena Bowl XXII in their last active season as a team, was nothing of what it once was. In their debut game of the 2011 season, they defeated the newly formed Pittsburgh Power in overtime. The Soul would go on to lose their next five games, which included four losses on the road. Their next victory would come against the Iowa Barnstormers on the road, and the team would go 1-2 from there, putting their record at 2-7. The team had their first winning streak with victories against the New Orleans VooDoo and the Milwaukee Mustangs in the following weeks. They would go on to lose four straight from there, including a 54-55 loss to the Arizona Rattlers at home. They would finish the remainder of the season 1-1, putting their overall record for the 2011 season at 6-10. They would not make the playoffs.
Prior to the 2012 season, the Philadelphia Soul hired Doug Plank as their new head coach. Doug Plank was the head coach of the Georgia Force team that had ended Philadelphia's Arena Bowl hopes back in 2007 season, and had won the Coach of the Year award twice for his winning ways with the Force. It would be his first time as a head coach since the 2009 AFL suspension. The Soul opened up the 2012 season with a tough match against the New Orleans VooDoo, narrowly avoiding defeat by a single point, as they won 63-62. They would go 1-1 in the next two weeks, with a record of 2-0 on the road and 0-1 at home. Their home game struggles wouldn't last as the team won their next four games, including two home games against San Jose Sabercats and the Tampa Bay Storm. They would go 1-2 the next three weeks, including a narrow loss to the Milwaukee Mustangs at home, putting their overall record at 7-3 around the midpoint of the season. Philadelphia went on to win their last eight games of the season, including a win over the reigning Arena Bowl Champion Spokane Shock, to put their overall record for the 2012 season at 15-3, a franchise record. The Philadelphia Soul hosted the New Orleans VooDoo in the first round of the playoffs, where the Soul would defeat them handily by a score of 66-53. In the American Conference Championship, The Philadelphia Soul put up the largest margin of defeat in franchise history by defeating the Jacksonville Sharks 89-34. They would go on to face the Arizona Rattlers in Arena Bowl XXV. The Soul's ten game winning streak would come to an end with a loss at Arena Bowl XXV. Head coach Doug Plank resigned shortly after the loss.
With the loss of Doug Plank, the Philadelphia Soul hired former Arena Bowl winning quarterback Clint Dolezel as their new head coach prior to the 2013 season. With a lot of returning players, the Soul didn't look much different from the previous season, which became evident after an opening day loss to the Arizona Rattlers on the road. The team would go 5-4 in the next nine weeks, including an overtime loss to the Cleveland Gladiators by a score of 57-64, before losing once again to the Arizona Rattlers, putting the team at a 0-3 record against the Rattlers since Arena Bowl XXV. After losing to the Rattlers, the Soul looked like a team of destiny by winning seven straight games in a row, only losing their final game of the season to the San Antonio Talons, putting their overall record for the 2013 season at 12-6. In the first round of the playoffs, the Soul defeated the Orlando Predators by a score of 59-55. In the American Conference Championship, Philadelphia would once again pummel the Jacksonville Sharks, winning by a score of 75-59, to earn them the rights to go to Arena Bowl XXVI, where they would face the Arizona Rattlers once again in a rematch of Arena Bowl XXV. The results wouldn't change, however, as the Philadelphia Soul were defeated by the Rattlers yet again by a score of 39-48.
Overall Record: 83-62
Playoff Record: 9-4
Winning Seasons: 4
Arena Bowl Appearances: 3 (Arena Bowls XXII, XXV, and XXVI)
Arena Bowl Victories: 1 (Arena Bowl XXII)
Total Seasons Played in the AFL: 9
Most Points Scored in a Game: 92 (4/7/2012)
Least Points Scored in a Game: 20 (3/18/2006)
Best Single-Season Record: 15-3 (2012)
Worst Single-Season Record: 5-11 (2004)