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Sporting KC’s Matt Besler named MLS Defender of the Year

Nov 20, 2012, 1:04 PM EDT

Sporting Kansas City v Montreal Impact Getty Images

Two years ago, Sporting Kansas City’s Matt Besler made a starting appearance in Major League Soccer’s All-Star game down in Houston against Manchester United.

It was a teeny bit cheap, in all honesty. Not that Besler was horribly undeserving, but he probably wasn’t one of the league’s top two center backs that season. Fan voting that we will call “spirited and highly organized” assisted the Notre Dame man – and fair enough for that. It’s an All-Star game, after all, not a Senatorial election.

But Besler, who just completed his fourth professional season, just keeps ticking up the improvement scale. The just-completed season at Livestrong Sporting Park was easily his best.

He wasn’t the ProSoccerTalk choice as Defender of the Year, but his work around Livestrong certainly advanced to the point where Besler being named MLS Defender of the Year doesn’t look at bit out of place.

(MORE: ProSoccerTalk’s Defender of the Year conversation.)

Sporting Kansas City led MLS in fewest goals allowed with 27. Consider also that goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen started all 34 games for Sporting KC, and yet was no higher than 15th in saves.

Translation: guys like Besler were doing everything and then some to keep the heat off their back-stopper.

  1. danielofthedale - Nov 20, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    This is a slight surprise. I thought that Victor was going to win this based on all the articles leading up to this. It was interesting to see how the voting broke down and that media vote was what pushed Matt over the top.

    Can’t really complain about the top five guys though. All deserving but I would have had Jay and Carlos 3rd and 4th over Collin. He was not quite as good down the stretch.

  2. wfjackson3 - Nov 21, 2012 at 9:56 AM

    There was a good comment in the MLS post about the 400+ minutes SKC went to open the season without allowing a shot on goal. That was an impressive stretch and probably helped Besler’s case.

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