By DAN KARELL
In his first season in Major League Soccer, there’s no doubt that Jose Goncalves hit the ground running.
The physically imposing center back helped solidify a back line that featured a rookie and two other unproven defenders to take the New England Revolution into the MLS Cup playoffs for the first time in four years. After playing every minute of all 34 games for the Revolution, Goncalves was overwhelmingly voted the 2013 MLS Defender of the Year.
The 28-year-old Portugal native also scored two goals this season, both game-winners. The Revolution finished the season with the third-best defense in the league, conceding just 38 goals to last season’s 44.
Goncalves beat out fellow center backs Matt Besler, Omar Gonzalez, and Jamison Olave by a wide margin in the voting. Goncalves earned a weighted total of 102.32, more than double the total of the next closest, Besler, who finished in second place. Goncalves also earned SBI MLS Defender of the Year honors.
What did you think of this selection? Do you feel that Goncalves was the best defender in MLS this season? Who would you have chosen as your Defender of the Year?
Share your thoughts below.