Omar Gonzalez may be just 23, but he already has a reputation as one of the top defenders in MLS. Now, he has the hardware to prove it. The Los Angeles Galaxy center back was named the league's Defensive Player of the Year on Wednesday, easily beating out last year's winner Jamison Olave.
Like Rookie of the Year CJ Sapong, Gonzalez was the top choice of all three voting blocs. Gonzalez received nearly 40 percent of the media vote and about a third of the club vote. The only area in which he and Olave were particularly close was among the players, where Gonzalez beat out his Real Salt Lake counterpart 21-19.
As voters did a year ago with Olave, Gonzalez seems to have rewarded in no small part to his team's overall defensive performance. The Galaxy allowed just .82 goals per game, the third lowest mark in league history, and registered a record-tying 17 shutouts, despite using four different goalkeepers.