Like last year, D.C. United relied on their defense to win games. And, just like last year, Popie Award, given to D.C. United's best defender of the year, is stacked. Named after Eddie Pope, of D.C. United and US men's national team fame, it has been previously given out to Bobby Boswell, Bill Hamid,Brandon McDonald, Dejan Jakovic, Julius James, and Bryan Namoff. So who should win the award this year?
- Bobby Boswell: The captain had another solid year anchoring D.C. United's defense, registering more minutes on the field than any other outfield player in the league. This year, while he was in the middle of the pack in most defensive statistics, he was still able to use his experience (as well as some occasionally cynical tactics) to help keep the defense together, even as it ended up in the middle of the pack.
- Steve Birnbaum: The BirdBomb had an up and down year, losing his spot to Kofi Opare for a spell, playing some fullback, but also being one of the most dominant players in the air in the league. He ended the year getting back to his first year form and setting himself up for 2016.
- Kofi Opare: The third string center back for the past year and a half, Opare forced his way onto the field with good play in the Concacaf Champions League and an injury to Steve Birnbaum. He's also faster than Boswell, which let him perform some exciting tackles.
- Taylor Kemp: Kemp beats out Korb for this nomination since injuries and depth charts forced Korb to only half of the games this season. United's left back quietly improved his defense this season after improving his offense last season. A complete season next year could vault him into the top tier of left backs in the league.
- Sean Franklin: D.C. United's primary right back had another solid year, so much so that he often flies under the radar (and so much so that I almost forgot to put him on this list). His passing from right back was very good, and his defensive statistics remained among the team leaders as well.