Walker Zimmerman named MLS Defender of the Year
The Nashville Soccer Club player wins the award for the second consecutive year after his team conceded less than a goal per game in the regular season.
Since Walker Zimmerman joined Nashville SC in 2020, he has set the bar high for a defender in Major League Soccer. On Wednesday the league announced that the United States international has won the Defender of the Year award for the second consecutive season.
Walker joins exclusive company
Zimmerman became the the third player in the history of MLS and the first one in more than a decade to win the award in back-to-back campaigns. The 28-year-old joined former defenders Chad Marshall and Carlos Bocanegra, who were voted in consecutive seasons. Zimmerman received 31% of the total votes.
“I’m extremely grateful to be named this year’s MLS Defender of the Year," Zimmerman said in a statement released by Nashville. "Individual accolades aren’t possible without the quality of teammates I have here in Nashville and the success we’ve had collectively as a group throughout our entire roster.
"It’s a special moment for me and an honor I’ll cherish forever," Zimmerman added. "I’m thankful to everyone who voted – from the players, the executives and the media, and to the fans in Nashville for their constant support.”
The United States international scored three goals and provided two assists during the 2021 MLS regular season and he helped his team on defense to only allow 33 goals in 34 matches, the fewest conceded in 2021 alongside Seattle and the Red Bulls. Zimmerman was also included in the MLS Best XI for the second time.
The winners of this award since 2008
2021- Walker Zimmerman
2020- Walker Zimmerman
2019- Ike Opara
2018- Aaron Long
2017- Ike Opara
2016- Matt Hedges
2015- Laurent Ciman
2014- Chad Marshall
2013- Jose Goncalves
2012- Matt Besler
2011- Omar González
2010- Jamison Olave
2009- Chad Marshall
2008- Chad Marshall