Each home game, the Earthquakes select a Season Ticket Holder to be this week's Fan of the Match, presented by Avaya. The lucky fan is presented with the amazing opportunity to experience warmups from field level, sit on the team bench, get a bag of free Earthquakes merchandise, and last but not least, meet a player for a photograph right after warmups! This week's Fan of the Match is Leo Parrot. We surprised Leo during Wednesday's match and had his son, Michael, answer a few questions ahead of kickoff.
Tell us a little bit about Leo’s history with the club. We know about his work as Head Usher, but how did he first get involved and when was the first you heard about his involvement with the club?
"As for how he got involved as the Head Usher he knew Gus who was an accountant for the Earthquakes. So he got his first start with the club at that point. I believe he always liked soccer before that point. I wish I knew more about his entire history with the Earthquakes. I only recently started attending Earthquakes games as of a few years ago. I had a blast and seeing my dad's face light up cheering for his team made it that much more special attending games. We chose to just buy season tickets when the new stadium was built as it just made more sense to instead of buying tickets for each game."
Did he speak much about the Quakes and pass on his love for the team to you at a young age?
As for the love of the Earthquakes, I think my brothers and sisters got more of that. I do remember my dad kicking the soccer ball around a bit with me and trying to teach me how to do a rainbow kick.
He’s seen every era of Earthquakes soccer. Does he have some favorite moments in his time as a fan, or any one great story you remember from the earlier days?
I don't know any specific moments, but I know they happened before I was even born! He always talked about his love for the cheer section. He calls them the crazies! You can hear him singing along with them the during the match.
What are his thoughts on the new stadium and direction of the club under Jesse?
I know he loves the new stadium. No matter where you sit, it's always a good view. He thinks that the food trucks are a great addition. We always make a trip out to the grass to check out what's there that game before we head to our seats. He thinks that the Quakes are moving in a great direction. With some player changes we have made this year - even though it is sad to see some players leave - he really sees the improvement. He thinks that with Jesse's background will only help push those important signings to keep our team growing in a good direction.
What are your favorite memories spending time with your father at Quakes or Clash games?
My father is getting up there in age and my favorite memory is every game we go to! I'm busy with work and social life but to spend a few hours at a game with him cheering on our home team is my favorite time I'll share with him and the Earthquakes.
How do you think he’ll react to this surprise?!
His reaction will be great. Probably a bit shocked to start and then once it sets in what's going on he will have such a huge cheesey grin from ear to ear. He will be talking about this for years to come!