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


October 28, 2018 | Hero of the Game: Deputy Narcie Sousa, San Bernardino Sheriff's Department

Deputy Narcie Sousa has served 12 years for the San Bernardino Sheriff's Department and is currently assigned to the Specialized Investigations Division, Homicide Detail. A decorated member of the department, Deputy Sousa was named Officer of the Year in 2014. Throughout his career, Deputy Sousa has exhibited incredible leadership and an outstanding commitment to serving his community.



September 29, 2018 | Hero of the Game: Chief Warrant Officer Jason Stacy, U.S. Army

Chief Warrant Officer Jason Stacy has 14 years of service, including a deployment to Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom, as well as numerous duty stations in Japan and North Carolina. Chief Warrant Officer Stacy's accolades include four Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Awards, an Operation Enduring Freedom Medal and a Korean Defense Medal. Chief Warrant Officer Stacy currently serves at Camp Pendleton and has become a huge LA Galaxy fan.


September 23, 2018 | Hero of the Game: Sergeant First Class Maria Barrientos, U.S. Army


Sergeant First Class Maria Barrientos has completed three tours to Iraq and Afghanistan during her 15 years of service, receiving honors that include: Army Achievement Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal and Iraqi and Afghanistan Campaign Medals. Sergeant First Class Barrientos currently serves as an Army Recruiter in Granada Hills, specializing in mentoring young adults and encouraging them about the benefits of enlistment.


August 24, 2018 | Hero of the Game: Officer Frank Martinez, Glendale Police Department

Office Frank Martinez joined the Glendale Police Department in 1997, becoming a role model for his bravery and dedication to serving his community. During his 21 years of service, Officer Martinez has amassed numerous accolades, most notable are his recognition awards for outstanding effort in a grand theft case and his life saving award. Officer Martinez volunteers with Special Olympics, as well as educates youth about the dangers of drunk driving through the "Every 15 Minutes" program. His daughter, Crystal, is a member of the LA Galaxy Star Squad.

August 14, 2018 | Hero of the Game: Chief Petty Officer John Babson, U.S. Coast Guard

Entering his 16th year in the U.S. Coast Guard, Chief Petty Officer John Babson currently serves as the Director of Vessel Traffic Services for the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Vessel Traffic Service Los Angeles - Long Beach manages nearly 29,000 vessel movements annually in the nation's most economically vital port complex. Chief Petty Officer Babson is returning to Patrol Forces Southwest Asia in November for a second tour based in Manama, Bahrain in support of U.S. Navy Fifth Fleet operations in and around the Persian Gulf. His accolades include two Achievements Medals and two Commandant's Letters of Commendation.

August 11, 2018 | Hero of the Game: Staff Sergeant Mohammad Wali, U.S. Marine Corps

Staff Sergeant Mohammad Wali is in his 7th year of service as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps. Staff Sergeant Wali has been deployed on two combat tours to Afghanistan and Yemen as an infantryman. His accolade in crude a Combat Action Ribbon, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, National Defense Medal, and Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal. Staff Sergeant Wali is currently serving as a combat instructor at the Infantry School at Camp Pendleton. 

July 29, 2018 | Hero of the Game: Specialist David Rendon, U.S. Army

Specialist David Rendon is a 12 year Army Combat Veteran. Deployed to Iraq in 2008, Specialist Rendon served as a Wrecker Operator and a Fifty Caliber Machine Gunner in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Since his return from combat, Specialist Rendon works with Merging Vets and Players Program, where he connects and supports his combat veteran peers who are adjusting back to civilian life. Specialist Rendon grew up a huge LA Galaxy fan, often traveling with supporter groups to away games.

July 7, 2018 | Hero of the Game: Commander Pete Kelleher, U.S. Navy

Commander Kelleher enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1998, and quickly reported to the USS Philippine Sea, where he served as the communications officer. Upon completion, Commander Kelleher reported to NATO Training Mission Afghanistan, acting as the personnel statistics officer and advisor to the Afghan National Police. With 20 years of military service under his belt, Commander Kelleher now serves as executive officer of the Navy recruiting district in Los Angeles. His awards include two Joint Service Commendation Medals and five Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals.

July 4, 2018 | Hero of the Game: Staff Sergeant Patrick Ketchum, U.S. Army

Staff Sergeant Patrick Ketchum enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2002. During his time serving, he completed two deployments to Iraq and one deployment to Afghanistan. Staff Sergeant Ketchum has received numerous awards including four Army Commendation Medals, a Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and Service Medal, three achievement Medals and an Expert Infantryman Badge. Staff Sergeant Ketchum has since retired from the U.S. Army. He is a proud University of California alumni and serves with the LA Galaxy Foundation's Community Partner, The Mission Continues.

June 9, 2018 | Hero of the Game: Gunnery Sergeant Mayra Garcia, U.S. Marine Corps

Gunnery Sergeant Mayra Garcia enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2002, and was deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 and 2005. Gunnery Sergeant Garcia was stationed in Texas and Louisiana before her third deployment in 2011 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Gunnery Sergeant Garcia's accolades include a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement and Commendation Medal, Drill Instructor Ribbon, Joint Service Achievement and Commendation Medal and Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal. Gunnery Sergeant Garcia is currently stationed with the 2nd Battalion, 23rd Marines in Pasadena, Calif.

May 30, 2018 | Hero of the Game presented by Chevrolet: Staff Sergeant Armando Martinez, U.S. Army

Staff Sergeant Armando Martinez is currently in his 12th year in the U.S. Army. He proudly served in Indonesia during Operation Enduring Freedom. Staff Sergeant Martinez has numerous accolades including the Combat Infantryman Badge, Army Superior Unit Award and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. Staff Sergeant Martinez is also a U.S. Army Combatives level four instructor, the highest level in the U.S. Army. 

In conjunction with our partnership with Chevrolet, Staff Sergeant Martinez and his family were provided transportation to and from the match. 

May 25, 2018 | Hero of the Game presented by Chevrolet: Sergeant Christopher Recio, U.S. Marine Corps

Sergeant Recio has served eight years as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps, with two combat deployments to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and two deployments to Okinawa, Japan in support of a unit deployment program. Sergeant Recio has earned numerous accolades including a Sea Service Deployment Medal with three Bronze Stars in recognition of four tours of duty, as well as Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Awards. Sergeant Recio is currently stationed at Camp Pendleton, Calif. where he serves a Combat Instructor for an infantry training battalion. 

April 28, 2018 | Hero of the Game: Sergeant Johnson Kelly, U.S. Army

Sergeant Johnson Melly was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya before moving to the United States in 2009. He joined the U.S. Army in 2012 as the Military Occupational Specialty Bradly Systems Maintainer. Sergeant Kelly has received the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Korea Defense Service Medal. He is currently serving the Los Angeles Recruiting Battalion, Coastal Recruiting Company in Torrance, Calif. Sergeant Kelly is also working toward his Bachelors of Science in Business Administration at Argosy University. 

April 21, 2018 | Hero of the Game: Petty Officer Jose Rodriguez, U.S. Navy 

Petty Officer Jose Rodriguez is in his sixth year of service with the United States Navy, and is currently stationed at Naval Air Station Lemoore. He participated in two combat deployments in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Inherent Resolve. Petty Officer Rodriguez has been awarded two Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medals, the Meritorious Unit Medal and the Navy Good Conduct Award. Petty Officer Rodriguez is a proud LA Galaxy fan and current member of LA Galaxy's supporter group Angel City Brigade. 

April 8, 2018 | Hero of the Game: Sergeant Alejandro Oviedo, U.S. Army 

Sergeant Alejandro Oviedo is entering his 10th year of service with the U.S. Army and is currently stationed at the Inglewood Army Recruiting Office. One of Sergeant Oviedo's greatest career achievements was his participation in Flintlock 2014, an African led military exercise for interoperability in security, counterterrorism and humanitarian aid with tenth special forces group airborne. Sergeant Oviedo has received numerous awards including the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal and Global War on Terrorism Service and Expeditionary Medal. Sergeant Oviedo is currently working toward his degree in Business Management.

March 31, 2018 | Hero of the Game: Captain Darin Laier and Captain Ryan Penrod, Los Angeles Fire Department

Captain Darin Laier has served as captain of the Los Angeles Fire Department since 2017, and a total of 13 years of service. While on vacation in 2015, Captain Laier rescued a teenager who was trapped in treacherous ocean waves. He was awarded the Medal of Valor for his act of bravery. Captain Laier is a member of the LA Fire Department's soccer team.

Captain Penrod has 15 years of experience as firefighter, and was honored as Firefighter of the Year in 2005. Captain Penrod currently works for Fire Station 62 in Mar Vista, Calif. He is a strong supporter of the Widows, Orphans & Disabled Firemen's Fund Organization in honor of his uncle who passed away in the line of duty. 

March 4, 2018 | Hero of the Game: Sergeant Pablo Soto, Los Angeles Police Department

Sergeant Pablo Soto served in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years, and was assigned to Security Forces as part of the Third Light Armoured Reconnaissance. Sergeant Soto continues to serve as a Los Angeles police officer, assigned to Newton Division Community Safety Partnership. Sergeant Soto goes above and beyond the call of duty by mentoring an at-risk group of youth through football programming. He is a true leader and positive role model.