NEW YORK — José Gonçalves wasn’t a household name when he arrived in MLS, but it didn’t take long for the New England Revolution defender to make his mark.
The Portuguese center back impressed so quickly, in fact, that he was named the 2013 MLS Defender of the Year on Tuesday after dominating club, media and player voting following a season in which he started all 34 games while leading the Revs back to the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time in five years.
Gonçalves played every single minute of the regular season and playoffs for Jay Heaps, helping New England tie for the third-best defensive record in MLS with 38 goals allowed. He ran away with the voting in all three categories as well, earning early 37 percent of the club vote, 47 percent of the media vote and 19 percent of the player vote.
Sporting Kansas City’s Matt Besler, the 2012 Defender of the Year, finished second, with 2011 winner Omar Gonzalez of the LA Galaxy coming in third. After winning starting spots alongside each other with the United States, both missed significant time this season on international duty. The New York Red Bulls' Jámison Olave finished fourth.
On loan from FC Sion during the 2013 season, New England exercised the option on Gonçalves contact and finalized his permanent transfer from the Swiss club following their elimination in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
|PLAYER||% Club Votes||% Media Votes||% Player Votes||WEIGHTED TOTAL|
|1. José Gonçalves (NE)||36.74||46.75||18.83||102.32|
|2. Matt Besler (SKC)||14.29||27.27||13.75||55.31|
|3. Omar Gonzalez (LA)||18.37||7.79||15.07||41.23|
|4. Jámison Olave (NY)||10.2||11.69||13.18||35.07|