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FC Cincinnati's Matt Miazga Named MLS Defender of the Year 2023

November 13, 2023 - Major League Soccer (MLS) News Release


NEW YORK - Major League Soccer today announced FC Cincinnati center back Matt Miazga as the 2023 MLS Defender of the Year. Miazga becomes the first Cincinnati defender to receive the honor and the 17th different U.S. International to capture the accolade.

Download Matt Miazga MLS Defender of the Year media assets HERE The 6-foot-4 defender has been an anchor on Cincinnati's back line since arriving at the club on August 5, 2022, starting 37 regular-season matches and logging over 3,100 minutes. When on the field, the Miazga-led defense allowed just 28 goals (1.03 goals per game) in 2023, and he started 10 games in which the club held their opponents scoreless, tied for the fourth-most clean sheets among outfield players in the league.

Playing a key role in FC Cincinnati's dramatic turnaround over the last two seasons, the club holds a 21-4-12 record in matches that Miazga has appeared in and has advanced to the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs at the conclusion of both seasons, while capturing the MLS Supporters' Shield in 2023. Miazga was one of three FC Cincinnati players to make the MLS All-Star team in 2023, joined by midfielders Luciano 'Lucho' Acosta and Álvaro Barreal.

A 2013 Homegrown signing by the New York Red Bulls, Miazga appeared in 38 matches for the Red Bulls from 2013-15 before joining Chelsea FC of the English Premier League in January 2016 at the age of 20. He made over 165 appearances across six different clubs in Europe before returning to MLS in the summer of 2022. The Clifton, N.J., native has made 28 appearances with the United States Men's National Team and was a member of the 2017 Concacaf Gold Cup and 2019-20 Concacaf Nations League-winning squads.

FC Cincinnati continue their quest for MLS Cup presented by Audi, as they welcome the Philadelphia Union in the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Saturday, November 25 (8 p.m. ET, MLS Season Pass).

The Defender of the Year award was voted on by MLS club technical staff, media, and current MLS players. Below is a breakdown of the voting results:

2023 MLS Defender of the Year Voting Breakdown

Name Player Vote Club Vote Media Vote Average Vote

Matt Miazga (CIN) 16.56% 26.83% 32.95% 25.45%

Tim Parker (STL) 19.11% 2.44% 9.83% 10.46%

Yeimar Gómez Andrade (SEA) 3.82% 7.32% 16.76% 9.30%

A full list of MLS Defender of the Year award winners can be found below:

MLS Defender of the Year Winners

Season Player Club

2023 Matt Miazga FC Cincinnati

2022 Jakob Glesnes Philadelphia Union

2021 Walker Zimmerman Nashville SC

2020 Walker Zimmerman Nashville SC

2019 Ike Opara Minnesota United FC

2018 Aaron Long New York Red Bulls

2017 Ike Opara Sporting Kansas City

2016 Matt Hedges FC Dallas

2015 Laurent Ciman Montréal Impact

2014 Chad Marshall Seattle Sounders FC

2013 Jose Goncalves New England Revolution

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 LA Galaxy

1998 Lubos Kubik Chicago Fire

1997 Eddie Pope D.C. United

1996 John Doyle San Jose Clash


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