NEW YORK — After leading Real Salt Lake to a record-breaking defensive record in 2010, center back Jamison Olave has been named the Visa Defender of the Year.
The 29-year-old Colombian, who made 27 regular-season appearances in 2010, was the centerpiece of an RSL back line that conceded just 20 goals, setting a new MLS record for the fewest goals allowed in a single season. The previous record, 23, was held by the 2007 Houston Dynamo.
RSL did not concede more than two goals in any regular-season game, as they posted a 15-4-11 record.
[inline_node:322630]Always a threat on set pieces, the 6-foot-3 Olave also contributed on the offensive side. He scored three goals in MLS play and added another in CONCACAF Champions League action, helping RSL advance to the quarterfinals of the CCL.
In 2010, Olave, who has always had a reputation for toughness and hard tackling, seemed to reign in his more physical impulses. After receiving three red cards in 2009, plus being forced to sit out a game due to yellow-card accumulation, Olave went through the 2010 season without a single ejection. He was cautioned eight times.
Olave was a major component of RSL’s 2009 run to the MLS Cup. And in 2010 he continued to progress. The central-defensive partnership of Olave and Nat Borchers, who was also a finalist for 2010 Visa Defender of the Year, has to go down as one of the most effective and intimidating in MLS history.