Professional soccer star to help spread awareness in honor of his brother

Short Hills, NJ (March 14, 2011) The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation announced today that Major League Soccer star, Daniel Hernandez, has been named a celebrity ambassador. Hernandez will help spread awareness of the Reeve Foundation and its efforts to find cures for those living with spinal cord injuries and improve their quality of life.

"It warms my heart to know I am able to give back to a community that has had such an impact in my life," said Hernandez. "My brother has been living with paralysis as a result of a car accident that occurred in 1998. Before his injury we both played soccer at Southern Methodist University for current FC Dallas Coach Schellas Hyndman. This is my way of playing for both of us on the field and off. I am filled with gratitude to have this opportunity to be a part of something that's bigger than me and thrilled to do what I can to help further the cause."

Daniel's brother, Michael 'Nico' Hernandez, 32, lives in their home town of Tyler, TX where he owns a number of businesses including a record label.

"We are extremely excited to have Daniel on board as the first professional athlete ambassador," said Peter T. Wilderotter, president and CEO of the Reeve Foundation. "Daniel's personal connection and commitment to our mission allows for a special bond between him and the Reeve Foundation community."

Hernandez was a recent finalist in the Pepsi Refresh Project competing for a $50,000 prize to donate to the Reeve Foundation to help educate kids living with paralysis. Currently, Hernandez has been nominated for the One Man Dallas competition which highlights his significant community involvement with the Reeve Foundation as his charity of choice (finalists will be announced April 12).

Daniel Hernandez grew up in Tyler, Texas, playing both soccer and football. He attended Southern Methodist University on a football scholarship as a kicker, splitting time between the Mustangs' football and soccer teams before committing to focusing solely on soccer where he earned All-America honors for SMU. Hernandez made his professional debut with the Los Angeles Galaxy in 1998 and has played for teams in both Major League Soccer and the Mexican Primera Division, as well as with the U.S. Men's National Team since then. Hernandez returned home to play for FC Dallas halfway through the 2009 season. He became the squad's captain in 2010, leading his hometown side to its first Western Conference Championship that same season. Hernandez has a soccer field, "Estadio Daniel Demetrio Hernandez," named after him in his hometown.