Commerce City, Colo. - Drew Moor may not get the respect he deserves around the League, but he's certainly not been ignored in Colorado. On Saturday night Moor collected his third consecutive Defensive Player of the Year triphy, narrowly edging out goalkeeper Matt Pickens for the award in voting by the Rapids players.
"Being recognized by my teammates, to me, is much more of an honor than being recognized by anybody else," Moor told ColoradoRapids.com. "A lot of those teammates are the ones that have helped me out the most these past few years. I wouldn't be able to win this award without guys like Matt Pickens, Marvell Wynne, Tyrone Marshall, and rest of the guys I played back there with."
Similar to previous years, Moor was once again asked to play across the backline. Equally adept with either foot and with a desire to defend first, the center back was the go-to option for a coaching staff that looked to plug holes at either left or right back, and even at holding midfield once long-time captain Pablo Mastroeni was lost.
And his professional approach to each training session and match also made him the easy choice to take Mastroeni's armband. He captained the team for 32 games, and led a defensive effort which posted nine shutouts, which were the most since 2007 when Colorado also had nine clean sheets.
"Obviously Pablo's are huge shoes to fill," Moor said. "But I had some help from guys like Pickens and Jeff Larentowicz, who are the kind of players that could have worn the armband just as well. Certainly some guys look at you during the tough times of games and tough times of the season, and you have to step up and respond and be that leader. It might not come naturally to me, but it's something that I enjoy doing and I want to continue to do."
After a disappointing season that ended short of the postseason, Moor both acknowledged mistakes but also touted the team.
"I certainly don't think that our record is necessarily reflective of what kind of squad that we have and how good of a team we are," he said. "I think we showed these last couple of weeks to end the season that we're a lot stronger team than the record we finished with. There were certainly some errors that didn't go our way this year that we'd like to have back. But there are also some positives to take from the season."
In his 8th season, Moor was the only field player in Major League Soccer to play every minute of all 34 regular season games. The 28-year-old also contributed three goals and added a career-high two assists.
"As long as I'm playing - and I don't know how long my window's open, it can close just like that on anybody - I want to be playing as much as possible," he said. "But more importantly, I want to help the team out as much as I can, whether it's on the field or on the bench."
Moor also finished second in the inaugural Fan Favorite Award, in which Pickens received the most votes through the online ballot.
"I've always felt that the fans of the Colorado Rapids have respected me as a player and as a leader of this team," he said. "To hear my name chanted and to be recogznied as a valuable piece is this team is a great feeling, and it certainly motivates me to go out and give it everything I can week in and week out."