The New England Revolution want Jose Goncalves to stick around because he’s very good at what he does.
On Tuesday, Goncalves was voted 2013 MLS Defender of the Year in recognition of his stellar season as the marshal of the Revs’ defense. The honor comes four days after the Revolution announced that he would be part of team on a permanent basis.
“I’m very honored to be recognized by Major League Soccer with this major award,” Goncalves said in a statement issued by the Revolution.. “I have many people to thank including my family, teammates, the fans and the club, because without them, this award wouldn’t be mine.”
Goncalves, 28, played every minute of every league game in 2013, leading a defensive turnaround that helped the Revolution reach the MLS Cup playoffs for the first time since 2009. The Revs had the league’s third-best defense, allowing just 38 goals (compared to 44 in 2012) in 34 games. They also set a new club record with 14 shutouts.
The ever-present Goncalves joined the Revs in January from Swiss club FC Sion on a loan deal, which included an option to purchase his rights. He made a seamless transition to MLS, and Revolution head coach Jay Heaps made him club captain in May. Goncalves’ competitiveness and leadership helped the Revs’ young core progress over the course of the season, making it an easy decision for New England to purchase him outright from Sion last week. “
“We’re very pleased that players, clubs and media around MLS recognized the fantastic season-long influence Jose Goncalves had this year,” Revolution general manager Michael Burns said. “Jose has been a great addition to our club and this award recognizes the impact he’s had on the field for us. The fact that he was also selected as team captain shortly after his arrival is further testament to his personality and leadership.”
Goncalves becomes the second Revolution player to win the MLS Defender of the Year Award, joining Michael Parkhurst who won claimed the honor in 2007. He beat out fellow finalists Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler, winners in 2011 and 2012 respectively, to win this year’s award.
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Photo via Facebook/New England Revolution