Goats Fans Reminisce on an Unexpected Win

Season Seat Holders Yesenia and Victor Martinez won a trip to the 2009 MLS Cup from Chivas USA

Yesenia Martinez and her husband Victor are long time Chivas USA fans, and third-year season ticket holders. When Victor, a lifelong fan of Chivas de Guadalajara, first heard about Chivas USA, he suggested to Yesenia that they check out the new club.

“And that’s how we became season ticket holders,” recalls Yesenia.

The Martinez’ have been committed fans ever since. They commute from Sylmar for nearly every Chivas USA home game, a trek which can take up to 90 minutes. However, it was actually a game that they missed last season when they were rewarded for their loyalty in a big way.

Yesenia renewed her season tickets late last summer during Chivas USA’s “25 Prizes in 25 Days” promotion, but did not give much thought to the idea of winning one of the prizes. After all, she was going to miss the night of the prize drawing anyway.

“We are pretty good about going to all the games,” said Martinez. “But that particular game… we ended up having to do something else.”

As the prizewinners were announced during Fan Appreciation Night at The Home Depot Center last October, Yesenia was watching her husband play in a soccer game of his own. Later that night, she got an unexpected phone call from her ticket representative. She had won the grand prize: a weekend trip to Seattle and two tickets to MLS Cup 2009.

The couple was shocked. “We couldn’t even believe it,” she said. “We’d never won anything like this before. It was crazy.”

Martinez and her husband flew up to Seattle and spent four days in the Emerald City leading up to the big game. They stayed in the same downtown hotel as the players from both teams, members of the media and MLS dignitaries. Yesenia even ran into Preki, Chivas USA’s head coach at the time, in the hotel lobby. She mingled with other MLS fans, saw the city’s major attractions, and thoroughly enjoyed her weekend in the Pacific Northwest. “It was unbelievable,” said Martinez. “[Seattle] is such a beautiful city. Everything was so green; it was really amazing.”

While the Martinez’ loved their eventful weekend in Seattle, the highlight of the grand prize was attending the match. Winning the tickets to the match only made Yesenia root even harder for Chivas USA in the playoffs, but ultimately the Goats fell short of the final. However, another Los Angeles based team gave Yesenia a strong rooting interest.

“As long as the Galaxy doesn’t win, I’m okay,” she said with a laugh. She was rewarded with a Real Salt Lake victory on penalty kicks.

It was a weekend Yesenia will never forget, especially the exciting game. “It was an amazing trip,” she said. “It was just an amazing experience.”

For more information on the 2010 "31 Prizes in 31 Days" Sweepstakes click here.