[MLS] If there’s a glaring omission from the list of MLS finalists for Visa Defender of the Year, it would have to be Colorado center back Drew Moor. Yet it is an ex-Rapid who is the chosen one.
Visa Defender of the Year Finalists
Nat Borchers (Real Salt Lake)
Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy)
Jamison Olave (Real Salt Lake)
Moor played every minute for the Rapids this season and is credited by head coach Gary Smith and his teammates as a primary reason for their success. Yet the Rapids defense (32 goals) didn’t shut down opponents as did Real Salt Lake and Los Angeles, who have provided Borchers and Olave, and Gonzalez, respectively, as the three finalists.
RSL set a league record by conceding only 20 goals, and LA ranked second with 26.
With both Borchers and Olave on the ballot, their votes could be split and leave the award to Gonzalez, the impressive 2009 Rookie of the Year who certainly played well this season. But in a very close vote, our selection is Borchers, who has been one of the league’s best since returning to MLS in 2008 and this season has been especially steady, and also extremely sharp at sniffing out and quashing dangerous situations.
He was the only RSL player to start every game, incurred only four cautions (no suspensions!), committed just 22 fouls (officially that is) and scored twice.
And let’s not forget he came through the ranks with the PDL Boulder Rapids Reserves and signed as a developmental player for Colorado in 2003.