Red Bulls' Long wins MLS Defender of the Year

Comments()
The 26-year-old center back continued his rapid rise by being honored as the league's top defensive player on Wednesday

New York Red Bulls defender Aaron Long has been named MLS Defender of the Year, the league announced on Wednesday.

The 26-year-old center back helped lead the Red Bulls to a league-record 71 points in 2018, anchoring a defense that allowed a league-low 33 goals in 34 matches.

Long, who also added three goals of his own to go with two assists, recently made his U.S. national team debut in October and has been called into the squad for November friendlies against England and Italy.

"It means a lot," Long told the club's website. "It is judging your body of work for the full season. It shows that I am on the right path, helping my team, doing what I can to help the team win."

Originally drafted in the second round of the 2014 MLS Draft, Long was released by the Portland Timbers soon before a short stint with the Seattle Sounders.

He joined the Red Bulls system in 2016, winning USL Defender of the Year that season before joining the first team in 2017.

"They really gave me a belief in myself and helped implement me into the system since day one," Long said of the Red Bulls. 

"I mean they were calling me into the office to do film with me knowing there was going to be a learning curve. This club has really taken me under their wing and let me blossom under their tactics."

Long received 26.52 percent of the total vote, beating out Seattle Sounders defender Chad Marshall (20.93), Atlanta United's Michael Parkhurst (7.1) and Leandro Gonzalez Pirez (5.78) as well as Red Bulls teammate Kemar Lawrence (5.6) to the award.

Article continues below

The Red Bulls are in action once again over the weekend as the club looks to overturn a one-goal deficit at home after losing to the Columbus Crew 1-0 at MAPFRE Stadium on Sunday in the first leg of the conference semifinal round.

 

 

Next article:
U.S. U-20s push aside fearful Honduras to secure Concacaf final players were hoping for
Next article:
Brazil's Tite encouraged by Neymar captaincy
Next article:
U.S. U-20s seal Concacaf final date with Mexico with win over Honduras
Next article:
Dier encourages English youngsters to follow Sancho's lead
Next article:
'They're too scared to go forward' - Eriksen hits out at Ireland following dull draw
Close