Leading up to MLS Cup, the League released the 2015 award winners including Goalkeeper of the Year, Defender of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Referee of the Year.
Montreal Impact, Belgian international and MLS All-Star Laurant Ciman was named MLS Defender of the Year. Ciman, a member of Belgium’s team that advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, joined Montreal in January from Standard de Liège in the Belgian first division to anchor the backline as center back. Ciman helped lead the Impact to the CONCACAF Champions League final, the Canadian Championship final and the 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs Conference Semifinals. In 27 regular season matches, Laurent scored twice and helped advanced Montreal from a last-place finish in the Eastern Conference in 2014 to third place in 2015.
In six seasons with Standard de Liège, Laurent helped the club win the Belgian Cup in 2011, and compete in the UEFA Champions League, Europa League and UEFA Cup tournaments. Since arriving in MLS, Belgium has called him up for four EURO 2016 qualifying matches. Lauren has been called in by Belgium for four EURO 2016 qualifying matches since arriving in MLS.
The runners-up for MLS Defender of the Year were Kendall Waston (VAN), Matt Hedges (FCD) and Matt Miazga (NYRB).
Defender of the Year Winners
2015: Laurent Ciman – Montreal Impact
2014: Chad Marshall – Seattle Sounders FC
2013: Jose Goncalves – NE Revolution
2012: Matt Besler – Sporting Kansas City
2011: Omar Gonzalez – LA Galaxy
New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles, 31, was voted 2015 Goalkeeper of the Year. In his fourth year with the Red Bulls, Robles led MLS goalkeepers with 18 wins and won the 2015 MLS Supporters’ Shield with the best regular season record. Robles recorded nine shutouts and conceded the fewest goals (43) in the Eastern Conference to help the club post the highest goal differential (+19) in MLS.
Robles started every regular season game for each of the past three seasons, playing every minute. Robles is the first player in MLS history to start 100 consecutive regular season games for the same team.
The runners-up for Goalkeeper of the Year were David Ousted (VAN) and Bill Hamid (DC).
Goalkeeper of the Year winners
2015: Luis Robles – New York Red Bulls
2014: Bill Hamid – D.C. United
2013: Donovan Ricketts – Portland Timbers
2012: Jimmy Nielsen – Sporting Kansas City
2011: Kasey Keller – Seattle Sounders FC
Expansion Orlando City SC and Canadian international forward Cyle Larin, 20, won Rookie of the Year. Larin, from Brampton, Ontario, was the first overall pick in the 2015 Draft out of the University of Connecticut for the club’s inaugural year. Larin set a new MLS rookie scoring record with 17 goals in 27 regular season matches, and tied for fifth for the Golden Boot. Larin tallied four multi-goal games and became the first rookie to ever record two hat tricks.
Larin scored his first international goal for the Canadian Men’s National Team on March 30 in a 3-0 win over Puerto Rico and is currently training with the team for 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches.
The runners-up for Rookie of the Year were Fatai Alashe (SJ) and Matt Polster (CHI).
Rookie of the Year Winners
2015: Cyle Larin – Orlando City SC
2014: Tesho Akindele – FC Dallas
2013: Dillon Powers – Colorado Rapids
2012: Austin Berry – Chicago Fire
2011: C.J. Sapong – Sporting Kansas City
Ireland native Alan Kelly was voted MLS Referee of the Year and Corey Parker won Assistant Referee of the Year.
In his second season with MLS, Kelly was the center official for 21 MLS regular season matches in 2015, the second-most among PRO referees.
Kelly officiated more than 350 match in Ireland’s SSE Airtricity League and won the Players’ Football Association of Ireland’s Referee of the Year Award for five seasons. Kelly has officiated in Europa and UEFA Champions League matches, and FIFA World Cup qualifying matches for the 2006, 2010 and 2014 World Cups.
The runners-up were Baldomero Toledo and Jair Marrufo.
Referee of the Year Winners
2015: Alan Kelly
2014: Mark Geiger
2013: Hilario Grajeda
2012: Silviu Petrescu
2011: Mark Geiger
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