The 28-year old Portuguese centre-back was voted in by the media, club officials and players to beat Sporting Kansas City’s Matt Besler and LA Galaxy’s Omar Gonzalez to the defensive gong.
The former FC Thun, Heart of Midlothian, FC Nurnberg and St Gallen man admitted his delight at landing the prize for a stellar individual season and was looking to kick on after finding his niche in MLS.
"It's very nice to be honored for your work and for other people to realize that you did a good job this year," Goncalves said.
"It's an honor for myself to be defender of the year.
"I've been traveling a lot in different countries, so it's helped me learn a lot and adapt myself very fast to other leagues
"When I came to the US, I knew that I had no time to adapt myself.
"At 28, I feel I have the same hunger that I had when I was a child at 12 years old. I wanted to be a professional and you have to have the same hunger. You can do big things if you have the same hunger.”
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