Sporting KC defender Matt Besler is the 2012 MLS Defender of the Year, the league announced on Tuesday. Besler anchored a back line that allowed a league-low 27 goals in 34 games. Sporting KC also allowed the fewest shots in the league (328) and the fewest shots on goal (102).
Besler is somewhat of a local product, coming from Overland Park., Kan. A 2011 All-Star, Besler also chipped in with two game-winning assists for a Sporting team that led the Eastern Conference in points. He's the third player in team history to be named Defender of the Year, following in the footsteps of Jimmy Conrad in 2005 and current club manager Peter Vermes, who won the award as a player in 2001.
Besler beat out San Jose Earthquakes defender Victor Bernardez, fellow Sporting defender Aurelien Collin, Vancouver defender Jay DeMerit and Philadelphia defender Carlos Valdes. Besler received nearly 50 percent of the media vote.