Montreal Impact center back Laurent Ciman has been named 2015 MLS Defender of the Year, the league announced on Wednesday.
Ciman, in his first season in MLS, bested Vancouver Whitecaps center back Kendall Waston, FC Dallas center back Matt Hedges and New York Red Bulls center back Matt Miazga to win the award, becoming just the fourth non-American to earn the honor. He joins Lubos Kubic (1998), Jamison Olave (2010) and Jose Goncalves (2013) in winning that distinction.
Ciman, a Belgium international and 2015 MLS All-Star, scored twice upon arriving from Standard Liege and played a vital role in Montreal lowering its goals conceded from 58 in 2014 to 44 in 2015. He also helped guide the Impact to the final of the CONCACAF Champions League and the MLS Eastern Conference semifinals, where Montreal ultimately fell to the Columbus Crew.
The 30-year-old Ciman earned the majority of the club (management) vote (34.5%) and player vote (21%) but fell in the media vote to Waston (29.5% to 25.3%).