REAL SALT LAKE’S JAMISON OLAVE NAMED MLS 2010 VISA DEFENDER OF THE YEAR
Colombian Central Defender Beats out Fellow RSL Backliner Nat Borchers and LA Galaxy’s Omar Gonzalez, Becoming First RSL Player to Earn the Honor
SANDY, Utah (Friday, November 5, 2010) – Major League Soccer today announced that Real Salt Lake’s Jamison Olave has been named the League’s 2010 Visa Defender of the Year, as voted on by his fellow players, coaches, general managers, and media. The 29-year-old Olave beat out his RSL center-back mate Nat Borchers and the LA Galaxy’s Omar Gonzalez to become the 12th different player to earn the award in the League’s 15 seasons of play.
The discipline and attention troubles that plagued Olave in his first two seasons with Real Salt Lake were a thing of the past in 2010, as the central defender only missed one game due to yellow card accumulation and proved to be a lynchpin in the Utah side’s backline. The hulking Colombian’s strength and athleticism were on full display across his 27 MLS contests, the defender proving just as adept at boxing out opposing attackers as he was tracking down through balls and stray passes in RSL’s defensive third.
Olave was an integral part of the defensive backline that set an MLS all-time low of 20 goals allowed for the entire regular season. Often overlooked was Olave’s improving ability in the opponent’s penalty area, his danger on set pieces providing RSL with three tallies this season, good for a tie for 5th on the squad’s scoring chart.
While Olave is the first member of Real Salt Lake to capture the Defender of the Year honor, a pair of others with RSL ties have also claimed the award – current assistant coach Robin Fraser is one of three players to have earned the honor twice (1999 with Los Angeles and 2004 with Columbus), while RSL alum Eddie Pope captured the award in 1997 as a member of D.C. United.
Olave joins the short-list of Real Salt Lake players that have garnered end-of-season awards from Major League Soccer, adding to a group that includes Will Johnson (2008 Goal of the Year), Jeff Cunningham (2006 Golden Boot and Best XI Team), Chris Klein (2006 Fair Play Award), and Brian Kamler (2005 Humanitarian of the Year). There could be more hardware heading to the Wasatch Front across the next week, as FW Álvaro Saborío is one of three finalists for the MLS Newcomer of the Year award that will be announced next Wednesday, while Head Coach Jason Kreis is among the trio of candidates for the MLS Coach of the Year honor, which will be named a day later.
MLS Defender of the Year Award Winners
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
MLS 2010 Awards Announcements Schedule (Schedule subject to change)
November 3: Rookie of the Year (Andy Najar – D.C. United), Fair Play Individual (Sebastian Le Toux – Philadelphia Union) & Team of the Year (San Jose Earthquakes), and Goalkeeper of the Year (Donovan Ricketts – LA Galaxy)
November 5: Visa Defender of the Year (Jamison Olave – Real Salt Lake) and adidas Referee of the Year (Kevin Stott)/Assistant Referee of the Year (Craig Lowry)
November 8: MLS W.O.R.K.S. Humanitarian of the Year
November 10: Newcomer and Comeback Player of the Year
November 11: MLS Coach of the Year
November 15: 2010 MLS Best XI
November 17: AT&T Goal of the Year and NAPA Auto Parts Save of the Year
November 19: Volkswagen MVP & Commissioner’s Award