There were plenty of standout defenders in MLS this year, and several who could make cases for being the top defender in the league, but it is tough to argue that there was a better defender in 2011 than Omar Gonzalez.
The LA Galaxy centerback was the leader and foundation for the best defense in MLS, improving his game in every facet and going from being an All-Star caliber defender to a dominant force who was key to LA winning the Supporters Shield and reaching the MLS Cup Final. For that, Gonzalez was SBI's choice for 2011 MLS Defender of the Year.
Gonzalez was the unanimous selection for the award, finishing first on all seven SBI ballots. A total of seven different defenders made their way onto ballots, though there were four who were ahead of the pack.
Here is how the rest of the field for SBI MLS Defender of the Year shook out:
FC Dallas centerback George John finished second in the SBI voting, with his outstanding play in the first half of the season keying Dallas' strong form.
Real Salt Lake's Nat Borchers finished third in the voting, with his leadership, ability to read the game and score on set pieces giving him the edge over teammate Jamison Olave, who finished fourth in the voting. Columbus Crew centerback Chad Marshall finished just behind Olave in the voting.
What do you think of Gonzalez being selected as SBI MLS Defender of the Year? Who would have gotten your vote?
Share your thoughts below.