Ike Opara named MLS Defender of the Year for second time

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 two seasons.

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 United)
4. Maxime Chanot (NYCFC)
5. Eddie Segura (LAFC)
6. Aaron Long (NY Red Bulls)
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