2019 Hero of the Game

Hero of the Game Updated 2019

The LA Galaxy is committed to honoring police, fire, and military personnel and their families through its Hero of the Game program. In 2018, 17 honorees were featured as the Hero of the Game prior to each regular season home match to express the organizations gratitude for the sacrifice and service provided by these individuals. Heroes are treated to (4) tickets to the match along with dinner for (4) in the American Express Stadium Club.

Game day protocol:

  • Arrival Time: Honoree & their family will arrive an hour and a half prior to kickoff upon gates opening
  • Upon entrance into the stadium, honoree will report directly to the American Express Stadium Club for dinner where a department staff member from the LA Galaxy Foundation will greet them
  • After dinner Honoree will be escorted with one guest on field 30 minutes prior to kickoff while remainder of the party will head to their seats
  • Introduction prior to the national anthem
  • Please note, honoree is required to dress in uniform during above mentioned recognition

Nominations are now being accepted for 2019 regular season home matches. Upon submission, your nomination will be reviewed by the LA Galaxy Foundation. If selected, a member from the LA Galaxy Foundation will contact the honoree at least 2-weeks prior to game date to confirm availability and discuss game day logistics.

Click here to nominate a hero


September 29, 2019 | Hero of the Game: Staff Sergeant Angel Esqueda of the U.S. Air Force

Staff Sergeant Angel Esqueda has been serving in the U.S. Air Force for four years and is a non-commissioned officer in charge of the 29th Attack Squadron’s Command Support Staff that supports national security. After technical training, Staff Sergeant Esqueda moved to the Holloman Air Force Base where he worked under 49th maintenance group to generate and sustains aircraft in a safe and compliant manner to produce combat-ready aircrews. Esqueda is currently preparing to deploy to Germany and Africa in support of the Africom mission.

September 21, 2019 |  Hero of the Game: Staff Sergeant Jamar Bryant of the U.S. Army

Staff Sergeant Jamar Bryant has been serving in the U.S. army for eight years as a human resource specialist. Staff Sergeant Bryant has been awarded five Army Achievement medals, two Army Commendation medals, Good Conduct Medal and Armed Forces Reserve medal with an “m” designated by the Secretary of Defense. After being stationed in Maryland, Bryant was reassigned to serve as an army recruiter in Brea, California.


September 15, 2019 | Hero of the Game: LAPD Officer Jeffrey Joyce

Police Officer Joyce has been serving in the Los Angeles Police Department for sixteen years. Officer Joyce has been awarded two Unit Meritorious award and over one-hundred commendations. Over the past four years, Joyce has been running a soccer based program called Nick’s Kids for youth in the Nickerson Garden Housing Development. Joyce has been instrumental in this community by mentoring kids, providing educational support and proving funding for six kids to attend private school.

August 17, 2019 | Hero of the Game: First Sergeant Vontae Edwards

First Sergeant Vontae Edwards has been serving in the U.S. Army for fifteen years as an air and missile defense chief and a detailed recruiter. First Sergeant Edwards has been awarded five Army Achievement medals, four Army Commendation medals, National Defense Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and Global War on Terrorism medal. After two deployments to Iraq, Edwards was reassigned to serve as a station commander at the Burlington Recruiting station in Raleigh Battalion.

August 14, 2019 | Hero of the Game: Corporal Sherman Watson Jr.

Corporal Sherman Watson Jr served for six years as a heavy machine gunner with three combat deployments to Iraq. Corporal Watson has been awarded three purple hearts after being wounded during each deployment and a Navy Commendation Medal with a valor combat for saving the life of his turret gunner. Watson has since medically retired from the Marines, but continues to make a difference by serving veterans in the Compton, Watts and South Central communities. Watson is involved with Mission Continues and volunteers in LA’s third platoon.

July 19, 2019 | Hero of the Game: Police Officer David Sifling

Police officer David Sifling has served for twenty years with the West Covina Police Department with assignments in patrol, community relations and investigation bureau. Officer Sifling’s current assignment is to work with media outlets on active crime scene and investigations in West Covina. Sifling continued to make a difference by teaching gang resistance education to youth and recently helped a homeless veteran receive temporary housing and visit his family in Florida.

July 12 | Hero of the Game: Staff Sergeant Joseph Casasus

Staff Sergeant Joseph Casasus has served in the army for eleven years with deployments to Germany and Afghanistan. While in Germany, Casasus’s mission was to build relations with Germany and proving support for the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. Staff Sergeant Casasus has received multiple medals including seven Army Achievement Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, A Global War on Terrorism Medal and an Afghanistan Campaign Medal. Casasus is currently stationed in San Diego where he continued to play soccer and attends LA Galaxy matched while serving our country.

July 4, 2019 | Hero of the Game: Staff Sergeant Oscar Lopez

Staff Sergeant Lopez is a veteran who served 11 years in the United States Army under the Army National Guard as a 68WM6, known as a licensed vocational nurse. On his second reenlistment, he earned the MOS of Network Administrator in the IT Field. Since 2017, Staff Sergeant Lopez has served in the United States Air Force Reserves at March Air Force Base, near San Diego, as an aero-maintenance crew chief since 2017. As part of their Operation: Back of the Net Program, Southern New Hampshire University, along with their partners Major League Soccer and the USO, has awarded Oscar with a full-tuition scholarship to study online at SNHU. Oscar plans to pursue his bachelor's of science in Robotics an artificial intelligence within the IT Field of Cyber Security and the further support his family.

June 2, 2019 | Hero of the Game: Sergeant Tracey Cooper-Harris

Sergent Tracey Cooper-Harris served in the army for twelve years with six deployments including Germany, South Korea, Maine, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, and Iraq. Sergeant Cooper-Harris has received multiple medals including six army achievement medals, three Army commendation medals, Global War On Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, and Korean Defense Medal. Back in 2012, Cooper-Harris won a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs to recognize the marriage of same-sex couples for VA Benefits.

May 19, 2019 | Hero of the Game driven by Chevrolet: Petty Officer Xavier Alemanreal, United States Navy

Petty Officer Xavier Alemanreal has served in the Navy for nine years with three deployments, including Afghanistan, Kenya and Japan. Petty Officer Alemanreal has received multiple awards including the Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal and various unit awards. He currently serves as lead Petty Officer for US Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station Far East Detachment Iwakuni in Japan.


May 11, 2019 | Hero of the Game driven by Chevrolet: Petty Officer Second Class Natalie Rodriguez, United States Navy

Petty Officer Second Class Natalie Rodriguez as served in the Navy for six years with deployments to South China Sea in support of Joint Exercise Valiant Shield. Petty Officer Second Class Rodriguez has earned multiple awards, including Navy Achievement Medial and the Navy's Good Conduct Medal.




April 28, 2019 | Lance Corporal David Flores, United States Marine Corps

Lance Corporal David Flores has served in the Marines for three years as an infantry automatic rifle gunner with deployments to Philippines, South Korea, Japan and Indonesia. Lance Corporal Flores has received the National Defense Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon. A native of East LA, Flores is currently stationed in Hawaii.


April 19, 2019 | Sergeant First Class Jesse Edall, United States Army

Sergeant First Class Jessie Edall is a 15 year active Army Military Policeman with two deployments to Iraq in 2005 and 2007. Sergeant Edall has earned numerous honors, including the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Award and Iraqi Campaign Medal with three combat stars.




April 13, 2019 | Captain Leo Bryne and Engineer Bret Cartier, Los Angeles Fire Department

Captain Leo Bryne is from Seal Beach and has served the Los Angeles Fire Department for 19 years. With over 24 years of service experience, Captain Bryne was promoted to Engineer in 2008 prior to being promoted to Fire Captain in 2018. Engineer Bret Cartier is from Simi Valley, serving with the Los Angeles Fire Department for 13 years. Engineer Cartier is currently a test pit engineer within the Equipment Engineering Unit.


March 31, 2019 | Deputy Sheriff Herman Arevalo, Carson's Sheriff Station

Deputy Sheriff Herman Arevalo is an active deputy and has been with the Carson Sheriff Station for five years. Deputy Sheriff Arevalo showed outstanding compassion for human life when he saved a 56-year-old man by administering CPR. For his exceptional service, he is currently being considered for the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department's Life Saving Award.



March 16, 2019 | Staff Sergeant Christopher Sands, United States Air Force

Staff Sergeant Christopher Sands is a veteran of the Air Force, having served for nine years as an avionics technician on B-1 bombers and C-130 Hercules. Staff Sergeant Sands completed two tours oversees in Kuwait and Iraq. He received numerous awards, including the Meritorious Unit Award, the National Defense Service Medal and the Air Force Unit Award for Valor Devise.



March 2, 2019 | Police Officer Gustavo Reyes, Los Angeles Police Department

Police Officer Gustavo Reyes has served over 11 years in the Los Angeles Police Department with assignments in both patrol and gang unit. Officer Reyes is currently working the Community Safety Partnership where he provides youth in housing developments with sports programming. He also volunteers at Locke High School as an assistant coach of the girls varsity soccer team and helped lead them to their first playoff win in over 20 years.