NEW YORK, NY (Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015) – Major League Soccer announced today that Montreal Impact and Belgian international Laurent Ciman has been named the MLS Defender of the Year.
A member of Belgium’s team that advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, Ciman joined Montreal in January from Standard de Liège in the Belgian first division and immediately stepped in to anchor the backline. In his first year in MLS, Ciman helped lead the Impact to the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League final, the Amway Canadian Championship final and to the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs Conference Semifinals.
Prior to joining Montreal, Ciman had spent his entire career in the Belgian first division, playing 286 matches from 2004 to 2015. He spent the previous six seasons with Standard de Liège, appearing in more than 150 matches while helping the club win the Belgian Cup in 2011, as well as participating in the UEFA Champions League, Europa League and UEFA Cup tournaments.
On the international front, Ciman debuted with Belgium on May 19, 2010 against Bulgaria and has earned nine career caps. He was a member of the 2014 FIFA World Cup team that lost to Argentina in the quarterfinals, and has been called in by Belgium for four EURO 2016 qualifying matches since arriving in MLS.
The award was voted on by MLS club management, media, and MLS players. Below is a breakdown of the voting results:
2015: Laurent Ciman – Montreal Impact
2014: Chad Marshall – Seattle Sounders FC
2013: Jose Goncalves – New England Revolution
2012: Matt Besler – Sporting Kansas City
2011: Omar Gonzalez – LA Galaxy
2010: Jamison Olave – Real Salt Lake
2009: Chad Marshall – Columbus Crew
2008: Chad Marshall – Columbus Crew