SAN JOSE - The San Jose Earthquakes announced today that the club has signed lucky fan Joe Pate to become the Quakes "Player 29" on the roster for the 2005 season. Pate is the winner of an incredible sweepstakes that the Earthquakes conducted to find a fan to be the 29th player on the roster for the upcoming season.
"I'm very excited to win this contest, it is hard to express my feeling in words," Pate said. "I would like to thank the Earthquakes for bringing me in and I hope that I can help contribute to the team's success in 2005."
As part of the contest Pate participated in a special signing ceremony with Earthquakes President & General Manager Alexi Lalas, and will receive his own official game jersey including name and number and will be introduced along with the rest of the team on the field at the Quakes season-opener on April 2 at Spartan Stadium. Pate will then watch the Quakes take on the New England Revolution from a special bench seating area and will receive an official Earthquakes warm-up suit. Pate will also be featured in the club's official 2005 team photo and media guide.
"Joe represents everything we expect from our 'Player 29,'" Earthquakes President & General Manager Alexi Lalas said. "His passion for the Earthquakes and his willingness to sacrifice for his team were evident from the moment he walked into our offices. He's being given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I'm sure he'll be the envy of Earthquakes fans throughout the Bay Area."
Pate has been an Earthquakes season ticket holder since 1999, and first attended an MLS game at Spartan Stadium in 1998. The engineer is coming off a 24-year hiatus from his soccer career to become "Player 29".
All Earthquakes season ticket holders as of February 28, 2005 were automatically entered into the contest, while fans could also enter to win online at the Quakes website or by picking up an official entry from the Earthquakes Front Office in downtown San Jose.
Hometown: Eureka, Calif.