I don't think he was one of the top 3 defenders in MLS this past season. I just don't. The guy didn't show me a lot on the pitch, both in terms of leadership, and in terms of defense (both organizing and individual exploits). I look at it like this, the guy has been burned by opponents top strikers for most of the season. Secondly, the team has needed someone to step up and tighten up the team play (we are a sieve). You'd expect it to be Pope who would stand up and demand better. But he didn't. The fact that Marc Connolly and others put him up for defendre of the year, is a result of giving him a free pass, and more of his legacy than anything else. No doubt Pope has been the best defender in US history, but this is probably his worst season ever. Finally, Parke has slowed down tremendously at the end of the season (similar to what happened to Clark and magee last season). However, as an overall season, he was the best defender for sure. I don't think he was the RoTY. Marshall of Columbus is incredible, and I think these two guys are going to be fighting for national team playing time in the future (I really do, Parke has poise and has a presence that you don't see amongst youngsters). Dempsey? I know he scored a lot, and is a brat on the field, bitching away. But I'm not sold on him.