MLS announced today that Sporting KC defender, Matt Besler had won the league's Defender of the Year Award. Besler finished with 70.51 of the weighted total, winning 46.97% of the media vote, 10.35% of the club vote, and 13.19% of the player vote to top Victor Bernardez who finished with 64.39 (15.15% media, 32.76% club, 16.48% players). The media vote carried Besler as he ran away on that vote, but finished second 3rd in club voting, and second among player votes. The KC native was a rock for KC, starting 30 of the 34 games this year, and helping to anchor one of the best defenses in league history. His steady play allowed Aurelien Collin to be the more flashy of the two centerbacks, allowing him to attack the ball more. Besler becomes the third KC player to win the award after Peter Vermes in 2000 and Jimmy Conrad in 2004, and absolutely deserving award for a player who has worked his ass off to get to this point. His play should absolutely get him more looks from Jurgen Klinsmann for the US national team in the coming year.
Besler's center back partner, Aurelien Collin, finished a distant 3rd with 48.13 (13.64% media, 22.41% club, 12.08 player).
In other awards news today, Kei Kamara finished second in the voting for Humanitarian of the Year behind Chris Seitz. Seitz won the award in a land slide after giving bone marrow during the season to help a leukemia patient. It feels awkward to call in a land slide because all the finalist are doing amazing work from Sietz to Kamara to Michael Lahoud, the other finalist. Seitz got 38.89% of the club vote, 60% of the media vote, and 21.35% of the player vote. Compared to Kamara, the second place finisher who got 9.26% from clubs, 8.33% from media and 7.87% from players. The vote wasn't close.