LOS ANGELES (Friday, Oct. 18, 2019) – The LA Galaxy announced today the recipients of the club’s 2019 team awards ahead of the club’s first match in the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs. Forward Zlatan Ibrahimović was named 2019 LA Galaxy Player of the Year, presented by Herbalife Nutrition, in addition to earning Golden Boot honors. Diego Polenta was named LA Galaxy Defender of the year and goalkeeper Matt Lampson was named LA Galaxy Humanitarian of the Year.
For LA Galaxy II, midfielder Kai Koreniuk was named Player of the Year, Nick DePuy was named Defender of the Year and goalkeeper Eric Lopez was named Los Dos Humanitarian of the Year. Golden Boot honors will be determined at the conclusion of the 2019 USL Championship Regular Season.
In the Academy ranks, midfielder Adam Saldaña was named the LA Galaxy Boys’ Academy Player of the Year, and forward Valerie Vargas Arceo was named the LA Galaxy Girls’ Academy Player of the Year.
LA Galaxy Player of the Year, presented by Herbalife Nutrition: Zlatan Ibrahimović – Forward
Ibrahimović earns LA Galaxy Player of the Year honors for the second-consecutive season. In 29 appearances during the MLS Regular Season, the veteran forward scored 30 goals, setting a new LA Galaxy single-season record. He also added seven assists. In all, Ibrahimović tallied nine game-winning goals and three game-winning assists and scored on six of seven penalty kicks as he led the Galaxy to their 19th playoff appearance in 24 seasons.
LA Galaxy Defender of the Year: Diego Polenta – Defender
Polenta is named LA Galaxy Defender of the Year in his first season with the club after making 28 starts during the MLS Regular Season along multiple positions in the backline. In addition to his stout play on the defense side, Polenta tallied a goal and six assists, tied for the fourth-most by defenders across Major League Soccer. Polenta’s lone goal this season came on April 19 in the 88th minute against the Houston Dynamo, giving the club a 2-1 victory at home.
LA Galaxy Humanitarian of the Year: Matt Lampson – Goalkeeper
The veteran goalkeeper has been active in raising awareness for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma since 2013 when he started the LampStrong Foundation (which became an official 501(c)3 in 2014), after being diagnosed with the disease himself at the age of 17. Lampson beat the disease and signed his first professional contract seven years ago with Columbus Crew SC.
This year with the LA Galaxy, Matt Lampson has hosted 32 children battling cancer at every game, home and away, as well as numerous other children during Galaxy training sessions at Dignity Health Sports Park.
Additionally, Lampson regularly visits Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to see and speak to cancer patients at CHLA. He dedicates his time and makes monthly visits to CHLA as part as his commitment to positively influence the lives of those battling cancer and encourage and inspire survivors to make the most out of their second chance at life. This year, Lampson and his foundation are making a $20,000 donation to the CHLA oncology for adolescent and young adult patients battling the disease.
Earlier this year, Lampson attended the Gift of Life Celebration of Life Gala where he accepted the LA Galaxy Foundation’s award as the Community Partner of the Year. He frequently attends LA Galaxy Foundation and Community Relation events, including the yearly LA Galaxy Foundation Golf Tournament Presented by San Manuel Casino. Lampson also hosted Freddy, a Make a Wish recipient, at one of the team’s training sessions this year. In support of Pediatric Awareness Month, Lampson partnered with LA Galaxy Foundation and Alcatel to host 50 CHLA patients and their family members at the September 21 match against Montreal Impact. Patients were hosted in a suite provided by Lampson and were recognized on the field for pregame warmups before a meet and greet postgame where the patients were given Alcatel phones.
Golden Boot: Zlatan Ibrahimović – Forward
Ibrahimović set a new club record with 30 goals on the season in his second MLS campaign. Uriel Antuna finished the year with six goals, while four additional players each tallied four on the year.
LA GALAXY II
LA Galaxy II Player of the Year: Kai Koreniuk – Midfielder
Koreniuk, who joined the club ahead of the 2019 USL Championship season, has gone on to make 28 appearances and score nine goals, currently leading Los Dos. In addition to his stellar play for LA Galaxy II, Koreniuk appeared for LA Galaxy's first-team on 23 July 2019, during a 2019 Leagues Cup fixture against Club Tijuana, recording an assist in the game’s opening goal.
LA Galaxy II Defender of the Year: Nick DePuy – Defender
DePuy signed with the club in March this year and has slotted into the backline seamlessly, making 24 appearances, including 19 starts during the 2019 campaign. DePuy has been a key member in helping Los Dos be in a position to earn a spot in postseason play heading into their final game of the season.
LA Galaxy II Humanitarian of the Year: Eric Lopez – Goalkeeper
Eric Lopez, an LA Galaxy Academy Product, has been one of the most consistent members of Los Dos to volunteer in the community to support the mission of the LA Galaxy Foundation. Lopez also takes an active role in encouraging youth and LA Galaxy Academy players to prioritize their education while he is earning a degree at Southern New Hampshire University as a professional athlete with LA Galaxy II.
Golden Boot: Kai Koreniuk (9), Ethan Zubak (8) or Augustine Williams (7)
LA Galaxy II conclude their season on Saturday, Oct. 19 at Dignity Health Sports Park in a match against El Paso Locomotive FC at 7 p.m. PT. The 2019 LA Galaxy II Golden Boot winner will be determined at the conclusion of the match.
LA GALAXY ACADEMY
Boys’ Academy Player of the Year: Adam Saldaña – Midfielder
Saldaña, 17, was a member of the LA Galaxy Boys’ Academy since 2018 and signed his first professional contract with LA Galaxy II this summer. As a member of the Academy, Saldaña made 12 appearances while scoring two goals this year before signing with Los Dos. In the professional ranks, he has made eight total appearances, with five starts.
Girls’ Academy Player of the Year: Valerie Vargas Arceo – Forward
Vargas Arceo has represented the LA Galaxy Girls’ Academy at the U-14, U-15 and U-16 level, making over 40 appearances while tallying 29 goals. This year, she was also selected to participate in the U.S. Youth National Team identification camp due to her standout play as a member of the LA Galaxy Girls’ Academy.
LA GALAXY SEASON TICKET MEMBER
LA Galaxy Season Ticket Member of the Year: Joe Baric
In his first season as an LA Galaxy Season Ticket Member, Baric attended every Galaxy game this season at Dignity Health Sports Park in addition to every STM event. Baric sits in Section 136 and loves attending Galaxy games with his family. He is one of the most beloved LA Galaxy STMs and has made close friends with many members from the LA Galaxy Supporters’ Groups.