Zachary Zimmerman: Columbus Crew defender repeats as Defender of the Year

Zachary Zimmerman’s most impressive week in recent years ended with another championship.

The Columbus Crew defender repeated as MLS Defender of the Year on Friday, which makes him the first defender to win the award consecutive years since 1975-76.

Zimmerman earned 21 of a possible 23 votes for the award, which was announced from inside Toyota Stadium. The other vote was shared by Philadelphia’s Cristian Maidana and Orlando City’s Corey Ashe.

He’s the sixth player in team history to win the award twice, joining Jay DeMerit (2011, 2012), Andy Najar (2011, 2012), Carlo Costly (2008, 2009), Jean Eduardo Da Silva (2005, 2006) and Steve Ralston (2006, 2007).

Zimmerman made 51 starts and started all 90 minutes in four of Columbus’ nine playoff games, helping the Crew reach the Supporters’ Shield finals.

“Zach is a great example of the type of players we have at Columbus Crew SC,” Crew coach Gregg Berhalter said. “He exemplifies our style of play and his ability to hold the back line is a real asset to our team. The award is a testament to his diligence, his unselfishness and his passion for winning. As a family, we’re really proud of Zach and we look forward to more big things ahead.”

The 28-year-old Zimmerman leads the Crew with three goals and seven assists. He made his MLS debut in 2011 and has also played with Houston, D.C. United and the LA Galaxy.

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