Nielsen named the top goalie

[MLS AWARDS] Sporting Kansas City captain Jimmy Nielsen was named 2012 MLS Allstate Goalkeeper of the Year after a campaign for SKC that included a league-best 15 shutouts -- just one behind Tony Meola's all-time record -- and a 0.79 goals-against average -- best in club history.

Nielsen, who succeeded popular Kevin Hartman as Kansas City's starting keeper after arriving from Danish Club Vejle in February 2010, now has an all-time 1.02 goals against average, the lowest in MLS history, ahead of Kasey Keller with 1.06.

The Dane set new club records for minutes played (3,060), games started (34) and goals-against average, breaking Meola's record set in 2000 with a 0.92 goals against average.

Sporting KC allowed the fewest goals during the 2012 season (27), earning the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference for their efforts. Center back Matt Besler won Defender of the Year. Nielsen and Besler joined defender Aurelien Collin on the MLS Best XI.

Chivas USA's Dan Kennedy was second, and Seattle's Michael Gspurning finished third in the voting.
 
AllState Goalkeeper of the Year Winners:
2012: Jimmy Nielsen – Sporting Kansas City
2011: Kasey Keller – Seattle Sounders FC
2010: Donovan Ricketts – LA Galaxy
2009: Zach Thornton – Chivas USA
2008: Jon Busch – Chicago Fire
2007: Brad Guzan – Chivas USA
2006: Troy Perkins – D.C. United
2005: Pat Onstad – San Jose Earthquakes
2004: Joe Cannon – Colorado Rapids
2003: Pat Onstad – San Jose Earthquakes
2002: Joe Cannon – San Jose Earthquakes
2001: Tim Howard – MetroStars
2000: Tony Meola – Kansas City Wizards
1999: Kevin Hartman – Los Angeles Galaxy
1998: Zach Thornton – Chicago Fire
1997: Brad Friedel – Columbus Crew
1996: Mark Dodd – Dallas Burn

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