[MLS AWARDS]A return to the playoffs this season also netted New England its second Defender of the Year winner.
Centerback Jose Goncalves, 28, won the award in his first MLS season after arriving on loan in January. He played every minute of every game as the Revs posted the third-lowest goals-allowed total in the league (38) and a team record 14 shutouts.
Voting among coaches, team executives, players and media gave him a weighted score of 102.32, nearly twice as high as any of the other finalists.
“I’m very honored to be recognized by Major League Soccer with this major award,” Goncalves said in a release announcing the award. “I have many people to thank including my family, teammates, the fans and the club, because without them, this award wouldn’t be mine.”
The Revs signed him on loan from Swiss club FC Sion and his outstanding debut season in MLS prompted the team to last week purchase his rights in a transfer. The Portuguese native was named team captain in May and in addition to his iron-man status he scored two goals, both gamewinners.
New England returned to the playoffs for the first time since 2009. It finished third in the Eastern Conference and lost narrowly to Sporting Kansas City, 4-3 on aggregate, in the semifinals.
“We’re very pleased that players, clubs and media around MLS recognized the fantastic season-long influence Jose Goncalves had this year,” Revolution general manager Michael Burns said. “Jose has been a great addition to our club and this award recognizes the impact he’s had on the field for us. The fact that he was also selected as team captain shortly after his arrival is further testament to his personality and leadership.”
In winning the 2013 award Goncalves beat out the last three winners. Matt Besler (2012) finished second, Omar Gonzalez(2011) was third, and Jamison Olave (2010) came in fourth.
Revs defender Michael Parkhurst won the award in 2007.
MLS Defenders of the Year:
Season Player, Team
1996 John Doyle, San Jose Clash
1997 Eddie Pope, D.C. United
1998 Lubos Kubik, Chicago Fire
1999 Robin Fraser, Los Angeles Galaxy
2000 Peter Vermes, Kansas City Wizards
2001Jeff Agoos, San Jose Earthquakes
2002Carlos Bocanegra, Chicago Fire
2003 Carlos Bocanegra, Chicago Fire
2004 Robin Fraser, Columbus Crew
2005 Jimmy Conrad, Kansas City Wizards
2006 Bobby Boswell, D.C. United
2007 Michael Parkhurst, New England Revolution
2008 Chad Marshall, Columbus Crew
2009 Chad Marshall, Columbus Crew
2010 Jamison Olave, Real Salt Lake
2011 Omar Gonzalez, Los Angeles Galaxy
2012 Matt Besler, Sporting Kansas City
2013 Jose Goncalves, New England Revolution