The first piece of business to open the Philadelphia Union’s offseason is something it would be impossible to argue: playoff hero Jakob Glesnes locked down for three more seasons.
Glesnes, who scored the latest goal in club and league history in the 1-0 win over the New York Red Bulls in the first round of the MLS Playoffs this season, originally signed a two-year deal with a club option for a third back in January 2020. His guaranteed compensation in 2021 was $448,000, according to figures release by the MLSPA.
After starting 17 of 23 games in 2020, he played every minute of the 2021 season and added three goals and two assists to a stout defensive resume. He was nominated for MLS Defender of the Year along with center back partner Jack Elliott. His goal against Atlanta United was a finalist for 2021 Goal of the Year.
“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,” Union Sporting Director Ernst Tanner stated in a news release.
The 27-year-old Norwegian’s new deal will keep him under contract through 2024.
“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,” Tanner stated. “His development on the pitch and natural leadership abilities have solidified the importance of keeping him in Philadelphia.”
The Union paid a transfer fee of $770,000 for Glesnes to his former club Strømsgodset Toppfotball and is valued at $2.2 million, according to Transfermarkt.