Los Angeles Football Club defender Walker Zimmerman finished second in voting for 2019 MLS Defender of the Year, announced by MLS on Thursday.
The winner was Minnesota United’s Ike Opara, and was the heavy favorite for the honor. His composite percentage in the weighted vote (between players, clubs and media) was approximately double what Zimmerman got.
Also in the top five in voting from LAFC was Zimmerman’s central defensive partner, Eddie Segura, who finished fifth after a successful debut campaign in MLS.
Incredibly, LAFC finished with the fewest goals conceded in the regular season in MLS, with just 37. But Opara’s impact for two teams seemed to swing things in his favor. Last year, he was with Sporting Kansas City, and their defense was good, while Minnesota United’s was bad. This year, he swapped clubs, and Sporting’s defense was terrible, while Minnesota’s was a top half defense in terms of goals conceded, and as important, actually earned some key results on their own this season, in contrast to their first two years in MLS.
So no individual silverware for LAFC in this category but a hearty pat on the back for a good season. Here’s hoping this fuels Zimmerman, Segura et al. to win MLS Cup this year.
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