New York Red Bulls and United States Men’s National Team defender Aaron Long was announced today as the 2018 MLS Defender of the Year. The top pick by the players and the media and the 2nd pick by the clubs, Long earned a 26.52% average to edge out the Seattle Sounders’ Chad Marshall (20.93%) for the award. Michael Parkhurst and Leandro Gonzalez Pirez of Atlanta United and fellow Red Bull teammate Kemar Lawrence were the other finalists.
Long appeared in all 34 league matches for the Red Bulls this season, starting 31 of them in a campaign that saw their team give up a league-low 33 goals and achieve its 3rd Supporters’ Shield. He contributed 3 goals and 2 assists as well. He also has made his way into the national team picture, receiving his first call up to the roster in September and making his debut in last month’s friendly against Peru. He was recently called into camp for upcoming friendlies this month against England and Italy.
Aaron Long also won the USL Defender of the Year award in 2016 with NYRB II, a year that saw the team capture the USL Cup. He used that to rise to the senior team and establish himself as a regular starter before this year’s meteoric rise.