FRISCO, Texas (Wednesday, Nov. 9) – Matt Hedges was named defender of the year while Mauro Diaz earned Team MVP for the 2016 season
, FC Dallas announced today.
For the third consecutive season Hedges, 26, earns FC Dallas defender of the year honors. He scored one regular-season goal in a 4-0 win over Orlando City SC on July 4. The UNC product also added two vital goals in Dallas’ Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Championship run. The first tied the semifinal match against the Galaxy, 1-1, in overtime. Hedges’ second goal of the tournament came in the 40th minute of FCD’s 4-2 victory against the New England Revolution in the final.
Hedges also found the back of the net in an eventual 5-2 win against Suchitepéquez, which pushed Dallas through to the quarterfinal round of the 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League tournament. Defensively, Hedges anchored a back line that recorded 12 shutouts, the second-most in MLS behind Colorado (13). The Indiana native was on the field for 11 of Dallas’ 12 clean sheets. The team allowed an average 0.88 goals per game with him on the field. That number rose to 2.25 goals per game without Hedges. Dallas finished the regular season with a 13-4-9 record in matches he started.
On the offensive side of the ball, Diaz, 25, contributed his best offensive season in four years with Dallas. The No. 10 had a hand in 25 of the team’s 69 goals (36%) across all competitions despite not playing in any CONCACAF Champions League matches. Diaz had two goals and five assists in five U.S. Open Cup matches, including a dominant, one goal and three assist performance in the final.
In league play, Diaz led MLS with seven game-winning assists. Along with Jason Kreis (1999, 2000) and David Ferreira (2010), Diaz is only the third FC Dallas player to tally 13 assists in a single season. Named an MLS All-Star by Commissioner Don Garber on July 17, Diaz was the only player in the league to draw over three fouls per match. He recorded two goals and eight assists in his final eight starts at Toyota Stadium.
About FC Dallas
A member of Major League Soccer since its inception in 1996, FC Dallas is owned and operated by Hunt Sports Group. The professional team plays from March to November at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. One of the first soccer-specific stadiums built in the United States, the venue plays host to Major League Soccer matches, concerts, international soccer matches and high school football. The 145-acre Toyota Soccer Center also includes 17 regulation-sized, tournament-grade soccer fields and is also home to the organization’s nationally-renowned youth development system.
Vernon Hadnot is the Owner, Director, Editor and Producer of D210SPORTSTV. D210SPORTSTV became the first Texas independent producer to contribute programming to Spectrum Sports in 2010 and currently airs on Spectrum Cable Channel 15. D210SPORTSTV is your all access sports credential to the Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Wings, FC Dallas and SMU Athletics the in Dallas, Texas Metroplex Area. D210SPORTSTV is a cutting edge and fast paced 30 minute sports video magazine show. D210SPORTSTV provides viewers with an all-access credentialed sports pass and is produced in Dallas, Texas. Hadnot has worked as a Director for Fox Sports Networks on The Drew Pearson show and won numerous national awards for public service announcements, commercials, movie theater ads, training videos and live on air television broadcast.