Revolution’s Jose Goncalves earns MLS Best XI honors

2013 MLS Defender of the Year named one of the league’s best 11 players this year

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England Revolution defender Jose Goncalves (pronounced joe-SAY gon-SAHL-ves) was voted to the 2013 Major League Soccer Best XI team, MLS announced during a special Google+ Hangout today.

Goncalves, who had already won MLS Defender of the Year honors last week, garnered Best XI accolades following a season in which he anchored one of the league’s top defenses and helped the Revs return to the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time in four seasons.

Goncalves, 28, joined the Revolution in January from Swiss club FC Sion on loan before the Revs purchased him and permanently transferred him to New England in late November.

The central defender was named club captain in early May and started all 34 games this season, playing every minute of every game – one of only three field players in the league to do so.

The MLS Best XI team is determined through league-wide voting of players, media and executive staff. Goncalves is the team’s first Best XI selection since 2009 and the club’s 11th overall.  

The rest of the 2013 Best XI includes  goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts (Portland Timbers); defenders Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City) and Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy); midfielders Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls), Will Johnson (Portland Timbers), Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City); and forwards Marco Di Vaio (Montreal Impact), Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy) and Mike Magee (Chicago Fire).

Goncalves helped anchor the Revs’ defense that was among the top defensive corps all season, and which finished the year tied for third-best in the league with a 1.12 goals against average. One season after allowing 44 goals (1.29 goals against average) in 2012, the Revolution allowed just 38 goals and posted a club-record 14 shutouts in 2013.

Goncalves also added two crucial goals, both game-winners: at Columbus in stoppage time on July 20 in a 2-0 win and at Montreal in a 1-0 win on Oct. 12.