The New York Red Bulls had the best goal difference in the MLS Regular Season at +19. While the 43 goals against wasn't the best in MLS, it was the best in the Eastern Conference. On the USL side, New York Red Bulls II only mainted a +1 difference (50 for, 49 against), but did have a standout player in Tyler Adams, who was the first player signed to a professional contract with the USL side.
Adams was one of four nominees for Once a Metro's Defender of the Year, along with Luis Robles (MLS Best XI, MLS Goalkeeper of the Year), Damien Perrinelle, and Kemar Lawrence. The voting, like Offensive Player of the Year, came down to two players: Robles and Perrinelle.
In probably the first upset of the 2015 Once a Metro Awards, Luis Robles was not selected as the winner. Instead, that accolade goes to Damien Perrinelle, the center back who has played the most on the back line this year. The center back earned 56% of the vote, beating out Robles by nearly 20%.
Perinelle was signed last year but wasn't used much aside from some CONCACAF Champions League matches. This year he started next to Ronald Zubar on opening day, and then Matt Miazga. His presence not only was a constant on a back line in flux, but helped to allow Miazga to grow in his sophomore season. Perinelle's injury in the D.C. United series hampered the team's chances at MLS Cup, especially in the first leg of the Columbus Crew SC series.