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Major League Soccer


November 20, 2012
Besler, top defender, Seitz Humanitarian

NEW YORK – Sporting Kansas City's Matt Besler has been named the MLS Defender of the year, FC Dallas's Chris Seitz is being honored as Humanitarian of the Year and Silviu Petrescu was voted Referee of the Year and Ian Anderson was voted the Assistant Referee of the Year.

Besler appeared in 31 matches this season for Sporting Kansas City logging a total of 2,769 minutes. The central defender was a mainstay in a back line that allowed just 27 goals in 2012, the fewest among all MLS clubs this season. The Kansas City native also contributed two assists this season.

The other two finalists were teammate Aurelien Collin and San Jose Earthquakes defender Victor Bernardez.

This past August, Seitz was contacted by DKMS, the world’s largest bone marrow center, and told that he was a potential bone marrow donation match for a leukemia patient. Seitz, along with his then Real Salt Lake teammates, originally registered with DKMS to become bone marrow donors in 2009 as a gesture of support for teammate Andy Williams and his wife Marcia, who was battling a rare form of leukemia.

Seitz traveled to a DKMS participating hospital for further testing and was confirmed as the best possible match for the patient. Because timing is critical in the bone marrow donation process, Seitz committed to a September surgery in which doctors extracted bone marrow from his pelvic bone with a hollow needle inserted through small incisions. As a result, he missed the remainder of the MLS season.

Seitz has been a part of the FC Dallas squad for two seasons. Before moving to Frisco in 2011, Seitz played 23 games with Philadelphia Union during their inaugural season. In 2007, Real Salt Lake chose Seitz, after two seasons at University of Maryland, with the fourth overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft.

The other two finalists were Philadelphia Union midfielder Michael Lahoud and Sporting Kansas City forward Kei Kamara. Below is a breakdown of the voting for the top five candidates:

MLS Defender of the Year Winners:
2012: Matt Besler – Sporting Kansas City
2011: Omar Gonzalez – LA Galaxy
2010: Jamison Olave – Real Salt Lake
2009: Chad Marshall – Columbus Crew
2008: Chad Marshall – Columbus Crew
2007: Michael Parkhurst – New England Revolution
2006: Bobby Boswell – D.C. United
2005: Jimmy Conrad – Kansas City Wizards
2004: Robin Fraser – Columbus Crew
2003: Carlos Bocanegra – Chicago Fire
2002: Carlos Bocanegra – Chicago Fire
2001: Jeff Agoos – San Jose Earthquakes
2000: Peter Vermes – Kansas City Wizards
1999: Robin Fraser – Los Angeles Galaxy
1998: Lubos Kubik – Chicago Fire
1997: Eddie Pope – D.C. United
1996: John Doyle – San Jose Earthquakes

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