Lunch With Sean

Lucky Winner, Ray Lass

New Chicago Fire Season Ticket Holder Ray Lass is a relative
newbie to the game of soccer, though his knowledge of the game has grown a lot
since the summer.

Lass is the winner of the most recent Lunch with the Fire
contest, in which season ticket holders that renew or purchase for 2011 are entered
to win lunch with a Fire player or front office staff. Lass, whose first Fire
game was on September 4 vs. LA, was the lucky winner and will be joined by his
girlfriend Stephanie for lunch with rookie goalkeeper Sean Johnson.

 “I kind of rode
the wave of the World Cup and the U.S. performance this summer,” said Lass via
phone on Tuesday. “When that was over I started watching locally and went to
the game against the Galaxy. We just had a blast that day. The experience, the
people, the park atmosphere – the whole thing was just phenomenal.”

Not too long after that match, Lass went online and checked
out the club’s new All-In for 2011 Season Tickets and Benefits plan. His
experience over Labor Day weekend and the 2011 incentives were what put him
over the edge, purchasing two Premier Season Tickets for 2011.

“The monthly payment plan was the one thing that really
sparked my interest. That was something that I’d never seen before – certainly
not in the city. I price season tickets for the Blackhawks and different teams
in the area, but that one and the free parking passes – those are incentives
that really pay for themselves.”

Though a more recent fan, Lass has followed the team rather
closely since really finding the game over the summer and although the team
hasn’t had the greatest season, the North Aurora native thinks there’s reason
to be optimistic for 2011.

“I think the team over the last few games is actually
playing really well. They’re starting to get their groove a little bit with Ljungberg
and having Pappa back from injury. It seems like they’re gelling quite nicely.
It’s too bad they kind of had a slow patch there, but I think they’ve looked
pretty good in their last few games. I’m really looking forward to next year –
I think it’s going to be a great season.”

As for lunch, Lass plans on asking on asking Johnson about
the pressures of being thrown into the starting role at such a young age.

“I’m excited for lunch. I’m interested to see what kind of
influences Sean had growing up. I know he didn’t start playing soccer as a kid
but kind of came into it later during his teenage years. I’m really interested
to see how it’s all progressed and how he’s handled being rushed into the

The lunch will also be a special treat for Lass’ girlfriend
Stephanie, who counts Sean Johnson as her favorite player.

“She loves Sean Johnson,” he said. “It works out perfectly.
She was so happy when I told her she couldn’t believe it – just kept saying,
‘Really? Really?’”

The next Lunch with the Fire contest winner will be sitting
down with new Fire President Julian Posada!  Purchase or renew your 2011 Season Tickets by the end of
Saturday’s home finale vs. DC United and be entered to win lunch with the new
Fire President!

Jeff Crandall is the Team Writer for the Chicago Fire.
Follow him on Twitter @JefeCrandall.