Photo courtesy of FC Dallas
FC Dallas center back and former Reading United AC standout Matt Hedges was named 2016 Major League Soccer Defender of the Year after helping FC Dallas claim the 2016 MLS Supporters' Shield.
“It's a huge honor to be associated with some of the best defenders in the league and I just can't say enough about how cool it is,” Hedges said. “It's a great credit to my teammates because you don't get nominated for these awards unless you have a great season and as a team we had a fantastic season, so credit to them as well.”
Hedges played in 26 games for FC Dallas this season, scoring one goal. With the 26-year-old defender in the match, FC Dallas only conceded 23 goals while also recording 11 of the club's 12 shutouts during the year.
Hedges, who scored four goals in 24 appearances for Reading United from 2010-11, joins Sounders FC U23 talent Jordan Morris as PDL alumni to earn 2016 MLS honors. Morris was named 2016 AT&T Rookie of the Year on Thursday.
“Matt embraces the idea and the model that we want defensively,” FC Dallas Head Coach Oscar Pareja said. “Having Matt in the game guarantees you that consistency. You have someone there who knows what we want and knows what the unit wants. The numbers are a reflection of what he represents and I'm not surprised to see that.”