Minnesota United’s Ike Opara
became the fourth player in MLS history to be named Defender of the Year multiple times when he won the 2019 award.
The center back captured the
award in 2017 while playing for Sporting Kansas City. He joined the Loons in the offseason and was a big factor in stabilizing their defense, which was among the worst in MLS history in their first
Minnesota allowed 71 goals, then tied for the second-most in league history, in 2018. In 2019, it conceded just 43 goals, a 28-goal decrease, ranking as the third-best
turnaround in MLS history. Chad Marshall
won the Defender of the Year award three times, while Carlos Bocanegra
and Robin Fraser
were selected twice.
2019 Defender of the Year voting:
1. Ike Opara (Minnesota United)
2. Walker Zimmerman (LAFC)
3. Miles Robinson (Atlanta
4. Maxime Chanot (NYCFC)
5. Eddie Segura (LAFC)
6. Aaron Long (NY Red Bulls)