Sporting Kansas City's Matt Besler wins MLS 2012 Defender of the Year award

Alex Labidou
Sporting Kansas City signs Matt Besler to new contract

Matt Besler was the top defender on a Sporting Kansas City side that only allowed 27 goals this season, and as a result the American center back took home the 2012 MLS Defensive Player of the Year award on Tuesday.

Besler had a strong season in his fourth as a pro, starting in 30 games and having two assists to go with only three yellow cards while anchoring the stingiest unit in MLS.

Besler edged San Jose's Victor Bernardez in the weighted vote total, winning with 70.51 points as opposed to  the Honduran's 64.39. While both players dominated one group of voters, it was Besler's overwhelming success with media voters that led to his winning the award. Besler had 47 percent of the media vote versus Bernardez's 15.5 percent.

Where Bernardez might feel slighted is due to the fact that both clubs (32.76 percent) and players (16.48) picked him over Besler. In fact, Besler's teammate Aurelien Collin also had a higher total votes from clubs as well, as the French defender finished third in the weighted total.

Here are the overall voting totals for the top five finishers, provided by Major League Soccer:

Player (Club)

% of Club Votes

% of Media Votes

% of Player Votes

Weighted Total

Matt Besler (SKC)

10.35

46.97

13.19

70.51

Victor Bernardez (SJ)

32.76

15.15

16.48

64.39

Aurelien Collin (SKC)

22.41

13.64

12.08

48.13

Jay DeMerit (VAN)

6.90

6.06

9.89

22.85

Carlos Valdes (PHI)

6.90

4.55

4.40

15.85

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