After playing every single minute of the 2021 season, Philadelphia Union center back Jakob Glesnes has agreed to a contract extension through 2024 with the club.
Glesnes was the only Union player in 2021 to play every minute, and one of just five players in MLS this season and the seventh in Union history to do so.
The Norwegian has started in 51 of 53 appearances since joining the Union from Norwegian top-flight club Strømsgodset Toppfotball in 2020. Glesnes was called up to represent the Norwegian senior men’s national team in 2019. Since then, he has notched four goals and two assists, including a game-winner against rival New York Red Bulls in the MLS Cup Playoffs.
In two seasons, Glesnes has become one of the top defenders in the MLS, and is now sticking around in Philadelphia through 2024.
“In his first season with the Union, Jakob proved he was capable of becoming a top player in Major League Soccer and in his second season he has delivered on his promise and is now one of the best defenders in the league,” sporting director Ernst Tanner said in a statement.
“His front-foot defense and ability to progress the ball out of defense have been crucial to the team’s success over the past two seasons, as the backline allowed the fewest goals in the league in 2020 and remained a top unit in 2021. His development on the pitch and natural leadership abilities have solidified the importance of keeping him in Philadelphia.”
The Union have been one of the top teams in MLS since Glesnes joined the team, winning the 2020 Supporters Shield in his first season and reaching the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions League in 2021.
The Union lost 2-1 in the Eastern Conference Final to NYCFC on December 5th, failing to reach the MLS Cup Final.