Afful, Mensah battle for MLS Defender of the Year award

Author: Peter Sarbah
Harrison Afful & Jonathan Mensah (right)
Harrison Afful & Jonathan Mensah (left) have been named in the MLS Team of the Week on separate occasions

Two Ghana internationals, Harrison Afful and Jonathan Mensah, have been nominated to battle for the Defender of the Year award in the Major League Soccer (MLS).

The Columbus Crew defenders are among 11 teammates, including their coach, Gregg Berhalter, who have all been penciled for honours in the season-ending award.

Other nominees with Ghanaian descent are California-born Gyasi Zardes and 22-year-old Edward Opoku, a native of Konongo, who have all been nominated from the 'Black & Gold' in each of the eight categories.

Releasing the finals list on Monday, the MLS said voting would be done by players, media and technical staff who would also have the opportunity of voting for the Best XI MLS players of the year. Voting ends on October 31.

Afful and Mensah, who were in Ghana for international duties last week, have been instrumental in the Columbus Crew set-up this season with both players being named in the MLS Team of the Week on separate occasions.

LA Galaxy star, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, will compete against two other Columbus Crew stars, midfielder Eduardo Sosa and fullback Milton Valenzuela, as well as LA FC’s Carlos Vela, for the Newcomer of the Year award.

Columbus Crew have a decent chance of taking home the AT&T Rookie of the Year award as midfielder Luis Argudo and Edward Opoku are among the 15 finalists battling for the honour.

Again, the Black & Gold also have another chance of winning the Comeback of the Year category with Gyasi Zardes and Gaston Sauro included in the ballot.